John Morgan calls recreational weed a make-or-break issue for Democratic candidates seeking to replace outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
House and Senate leaders, falling short of implementing the voter-approved amendment, were unable to reach agreement on how many retail outlets medical pot operators should be able to run.
Flagler County commissioners said the moratorium is not intended to counter the constitutional amendment legalizing medical pot, but to give the county time to figure out what zoning and other regulations may be in place with legalization.
It’s the largest single contribution received by supporters of Amendment 2 and comes as the battle over the constitutional question heats up in advance of the Nov. 8 election.
Though recommended for approval in Flagler County by a key law enforcement, judicial and government panel, the de-criminalization proposal and judicial panel, the proposal will wait until after the election because of expected changes at the county commission and on the Palm Coast City Council.
The proposal would reduce the penalty for first-time possession of pot to a $250 fine rather than a criminal charge, but it’ll be at least another month before the proposal gets out of a council, if then, and heads for approval (or rejection) by local governments.
A work group meeting Tuesday to craft an ordinance raised more questions and objections than showed agreement, though the proposal is still moving forward in a much narrower version, and has many hurdles yet to cross.
The video, posted online by the “Vote No on 2 Campaign” alleges the measure would lead to a plethora of “pot shops” similar to the marijuana industry in California.
All of Flagler’s major law enforcement and government agencies agree that marijuana decriminalization for first-time offenders is a good idea. The county next will develop an ordinance all can agree on. That step may be more difficult.
The state has spent nearly $500,000 on private lawyers to represent the Department of Health in legal challenges that have delayed implementation of a 2014 law that first opened the door for medical marijuana in Florida.