'The Governor is Full of Sh*t': Cannabis Groups Slam DeSantis' Anti-Marijuana Comments

'The Governor is Full of Sh*t': Cannabis Groups Slam DeSantis' Anti-Marijuana Comments

Cannabis groups supporting Florida's recreational marijuana amendment slammed DeSantis for his anti-cannabis comments

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
April 18, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Cannabis groups supporting Florida's recreational marijuana amendment blasted Governor Ron DeSantis for saying the measure will cause the state to smell like pot and allow people to smoke the drug outside of schools.

"The Governor is full of shit for saying that," said Chris Cano, Executive Director for the Suncoast Chapter of NORML—a non-profit organization aimed at reforming marijuana laws. "He's just being sensationalist to the maximum degree,"

"What the Governor's trying to do at this point is trying to drive fear and trying to depress the vote, because there are two key ballot initiatives that are going to drive out voters who typically do not vote for the Governor or his party," Cano said, pointing to the abortion-rights and recreational marijuana measures on the November ballot.

Cano explained that Florida has strict laws on both marijuana possession and clean air, telling The Floridian that, "It's still a Schedule 1 federal drug. Florida's amendment is much stricter in scope than what they've done in New York, and DeSantis can try to make all these comparisons and raise all this hell about how adult-use cannabis is gonna change how Florida is—but it's not,"

"Because one, Florida is a conservative state, and two, we have so many other laws that go around with it. This is not New York-style legalization," he continued.

Under current law, possessing over 20 grams of cannabis is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and $5,000, while the sale or delivery within 1,000 feet of a school is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment and $10,000.

Florida's proposed ballot initiative, Amendment 3, would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to three ounces of marijuana with up to five grams in the form of concentrate. Existing Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs) would be authorized to sell recreational marijuana.

The Amendment would also allow the Florida Legislature to license entities other than existing MMTCs to cultivate and sell marijuana products.

Wednesday morning, Governor DeSantis told onlookers at a Hialeah press conference that Amendment 3 is so broad that "you are not going to be able to restrict where people use it—your life will be impacted by this."

He continued, saying that people can "just be sitting there toking up" next to an elementary school.

Steve Vancore, Spokesman for Smart and Safe Florida—the organization that sponsored the ballot initiative, disagreed.

"If Amendment 3 passes, the Florida legislature will – without a shadow of a doubt – have authority to regulate time, place, and manner restrictions just as they currently have the authority to regulate things like smoking tobacco in public places or drinking," he told The Floridian in a statement.

"We agree with the Governor that we don’t want to see people smoking in public and will join him in supporting laws to ensure those types of restrictions," he added.

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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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