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Medical Marijuana: everything is negotiable except taxes and smoking

March 22nd, 2017 by Mike Vasilinda

State lawmakers are zeroing in on medical marijuana in the State Capitol. Five different ideas were floated in the State Senate during a workshop today. the House has just one bill, but the people behind Amendment 2 say the House version won’t do what voters are seeking.

Florida’s Police Chiefs spent the day walking Capitol hallways pushing their version of what medical marijuana should look like on the streets. Daniel Oates is the Chief of Police in Miami Beach.

“When, where and how medical marijuana dispensaries operate. That’s very, very important to the Florida Police Chiefs”Oates told us.

The Chiefs wold have liked what the House Sponsor Rep. Ray Rodrigues was telling Mayors from across the state.

“You control how many dispensaries will be within your borders and where those will be located” says Rodrigues.

But even Rep. Ray Rodrigues describes the House position, with no smokable and no edibles, as more conservative than the Senate.

“We have no smokable’s, currently just vaping for terminally ill, and no edibles. The key  thing from our perspective is this was sold as medical marijuana and we believe doctors

should have a role within the relationship.”

And that conservative approach isn’t sitting well with Ben Pollera. He ran the Amendment 2 campaign.

“Leader Rodrigues has said, too, he’s doing this, he’s written this, quote end quote, to protect people from, you know, the ills of marijuana rather than respecting this is a new right we put into the constitution, not something that requires a whole new set of restrictions and places to get tripped up” says the Amendment’s author.

About the only thing everyone agrees on is that the seven growers who have invested millions, will play a major part in whatever emerges from the legislature.

In the end, Senate Health Policy Chair Dana Young says  they have one goal.

“To implement the amendment the way the voters wanted it implemented and that’s what I am going to do.” says Young.

Lawmakers know 71 percent of their voters said yes. They also know if they don’t get it right, each of those voters has the right to go to court.

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