For the second straight year, medical marijuana supporters in Florida are attempting to get legislators to push through legislation that would allow for the legalization of medical marijuana in that state, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting says.
As our Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers well know, simply legalizing medical marijuana doesn’t end all of the problems. In recent months, federal prosecutors have threatened to shut down dispensaries by charging people criminally simply for running their businesses. The landlords who allow these companies to rent from them have also come under fire and many have succumbed to pressure.
While legalized medical marijuana in Los Angeles certainly has had its benefits for growers, distributors and sellers — who have seen their profits grow — and users — who have been provided with lower-cost medicine to ease the pain of difficult ailments — it hasn’t come without its headaches.
Other states throughout the west that have legalized marijuana have also dealt with the issues that resulted in these new state laws. Unfortunately, that has meant some harassment from federal agencies.
A report out of Florida shows that companion bills filed by a state senator and representative aim to legalize marijuana, the first time that bills have been filed in both chambers, the news source points out. But the piece questions whether it is a serious effort by lawmakers to help Florida join other states that have made the leap or simply for show.
The article points out that Florida prides itself on being opposite from California in many ways — conservative vs. liberal, cold California mountains vs. warm Florida beaches, young vs. old, Disneyland vs. Disneyworld and earthquakes vs. hurricanes. But a recent poll in Florida shows that 57 percent of residents support medical marijuana.
And given that the state does have a large older population that suffers from various medical ailments, including harsh forms of cancer, medical marijuana could be beneficial to many residents. But Republicans control the governor’s office and both chambers of congress in Florida and that party typically is anti-marijuana.
But coverage of the effort in Florida has been relegated to college newspapers and pro-marijuana blogs rather than larger newspapers and television stations. But some supporters are attempting to collect enough signatures that it could get the issue on the ballot without lawmaker approval.
If seniors, who would likely be the prime beneficiary of the drug, would get involved, it’s possible it could gain some traction. But our Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyers would warn Floridians to be careful of how to word the law and how to implement it.
California’s marijuana industry has been attacked by federal and local leaders who have sought to shut down these legitimate businesses because of political agendas. If Floridians pass legal medical marijuana, they may too find themselves battling these same issues.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Los Angeles, throughout Orange County and elsewhere throughout Southern California. Call 949-375-4734 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
More Blog Entries:
Federal Interference Causes shut Down of State’s Oldest Medical Marijuana Dispensary: December 15, 2011
California Marijuana Growers Shifting Production Tactics, Testimony Reveals: December 13, 2011
Medical Marijuana in Florida: Legitimate Legislative Efforts or Just Pipe Dreams? by Ralph De La Cruz, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting