'If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix it': DeSantis Slams Florida Marijuana Amendment

'If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix it': DeSantis Slams Florida Marijuana Amendment

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
April 17, 2024

HIALEAH GARDENS, FL—Governor Ron DeSantis fears Florida's proposed recreational marijuana amendment will not only cause the state to smell like pot but is too "over-broad" and will allow people to smoke the drug outside of schools.

"The marijuana [amendment]  is written so broadly, you are not going to be able to restrict where people use it—your life will be impacted by this," DeSantis said at a Wednesday morning press conference. "You will smell it when you're walking down a lot of these streets, particularly in our urban areas."

"I think this amendment is the broadest amendment yet, and I think it's basically going to green-light marijuana usage in all these different parts of the state where we don't want that to happen," he continued, juxtaposing the marijuana amendment to Florida's controversial abortion amendment. "That is not good for families. It's not good for the elderly."

Senior citizens, however, are the fastest-growing clientele for marijuana use. The Hill reported that marijuana use among 65-plus citizens nearly tripled in a decade, from 11 percent in 2009 to 32 percent in 2019. Additionally, more than half of the 60-64 demographic reported cannabis use, another sharp increase.

On April 1st, the Florida Supreme Court allowed a constitutional amendment for recreational marijuana to be placed on the November ballot.  The measure—Amendment 3—would legalize recreational use for adults 21 and over and allow companies that already grow and sell medical marijuana to sell it to these adults.

If 60% of voters say "yes" to the measure, it will be enshrined in the state's constitution.

The amendment was challenged by Attorney General Ashley Moody, who argued that the language was "vague" and "overly broad", the same arguments espoused by DeSantis on Wednesday. The Supreme Court disagreed.

"Someone walking by an elementary school can just be sitting there toking up. How is that good for the state of Florida? If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Desantis said. He claimed that he has "credibility" on the issue because he signed off on the legalization of medical marijuana.

With that being said, he doesn't believe more cannabis stores need to crop up throughout the state.

"Do we really need to have like ten times more of that than we do? No, we don't," he said. "I would just say understand on that amendment [that] people are putting tens of millions of dollars behind it not out of the goodness of their heart. They are going to make a lot of money,"

"If that amendment passes you'd be making some companies, very, very rich," he added, concerned that weed stores would exponentially profit off of the amendment.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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