In Florida, Cannabis Slowdown Frustrates Popular Sentiment
By Daily Bell Staff - November 03, 2015

Florida medical pot law misses deadline, nearly a year behind … Almost a year-and-a-half since Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers legalized a form of medical marijuana, the latest deadline for making it available to Floridians has gone up in smoke. Again. – MyPalmBeachPost

Dominant Social Theme: Say, it seems like there's a lot of pushback against any kind of cannabis legalization.

Free-Market Analysis: The article excerpted here focuses on the difficulties in bringing a particular form of medicinal cannabis to market in Florida. But there is good news here as well for those who want to see the end of cannabis prohibition. Region by region, state by state, city by city, cannabis legalization continues to advance. That's not just in the US but around the world.

Yes, there is pushback. But there is pushback to the pushback. This article is a good example of that.

Here's more:

Cancer patients, as well as those suffering seizures as Pence's daughter does, were supposed to be able to obtain a non-euphoric marijuana oil dubbed Charlotte's Web beginning Jan. 1, 2015. But crafting regulations for a new Florida marijuana industry has stalled the introduction. Activists are frustrated, new legislative proposals are in play, and another effort to ask voters to approve full-blown marijuana for medical use is underway and aimed at next November's presidential ballot in Florida.

"Every week that goes by that this substance is not in the hands of these suffering families is one week too long," said Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, a sponsor of last year's Charlotte's Web bill. "I continue to be very, very frustrated."

We can see from this reporting that while there is frustration, proponents continue to be active. Thus the pressure increases to bring cannabis products to market.

It is even a good sign that senators like Rob Bradley feel free to express their frustration about what has gone wrong. Politicians are not noted for taking controversial stands. Bradley apparently feels comfortable enough on this issue to express himself clearly.

True, Charlotte's Web oil is not yet being produced in the state, but the Florida Department of Health is reportedly "finally close to selecting five nurseries that are going to grow, process and dispense" the oil that is at the center of the delays. (Still, it may be until some time in 2016 before the oil is available to patients, reports the Post.)

It's also true that a bid to legalize cannabis in 2014 drew 58 percent support, and thus fell two percent short of the 60 percent that was necessary to approve the constitutional amendment. But now supporters are making another bid. The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments in December regarding the 2016 initiative's language.

An article posted over at entitled, "Isn't It Funny?" by Laurence M. Vance deals with the ins and outs of the Florida situation as it regards cannabis.

The Florida Supreme Court recently set a date of December 8 to hear oral arguments on a new proposed medical marijuana amendment … The political committee "People United for Medical Marijuana" is spearheading the effort to get the marijuana initiative on the 2016 ballot. It needs to submit over 683,000 valid petition signatures by February to get it on the ballot.

Proponents of the amendment are counting on the probable increased turnout of young voters—because 2016 is a presidential election year—to help pass the measure. This is all well and good, since anyone in Florida ought to be able to take whatever medication he thinks will relieve his pain or improve his condition.

But much of Vance's article focuses on the logical contradictions of opponents to cannabis decriminalization and legalization – many of whom, in Vance's view, are "conservative."

He writes he has heard "grumblings" from conservatives in Florida regarding possible cannabis legalization. According to these grumblings, cannabis is a "gateway drug," has no medial value, and users simply want to "get high."

He rebuts this grumbling by listing the ways that such attacks on cannabis are illogical. "Isn't if funny?" he asks.

Isn't it funny how few of these conservatives know that all drugs used to be legal in the United States?

Isn't it funny how few of these conservatives know that medical marijuana is already legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Isn't it funny how few of these conservatives know that smoking marijuana is less hazardous than smoking tobacco, which kills over 400,000 Americans every year.

Vance concludes the article by writing, "It is beyond funny. It is tragic. People's lives and livelihoods are at stake. In a free society any resident of Florida or any other state should be able to [use] marijuana in any form and in any amount, not just for medical purposes, but for any purpose."

Judging by the amount of pro-legalization activity going on in Florida (and in so many other states and countries), many share Vance's perspective.

Here at The Daily Bell, we've been covering the cannabis trend toward legalization from the very beginning. We understood its significance and believed in the success of the movement. Lately, editor Anthony Wile has been urging investors to have patience regarding the industry, which may change its profile dramatically over time. You can read a recent editorial of his in Canada's Globe and Mail here.

But the trend will advance. Too many support it now and see its economic benefits. And many of the pro-prohibition arguments, as Vance points out, are increasingly "funny."

After Thoughts

Not every cannabis product is a good one and not every legislative initiative succeeds. But the point of this article is that even considering setbacks there is a quickening groundswell of support to make cannabis generally available. These arguments no doubt shall build to a crescendo next April when the UN hosts its global UNGASS conference on refocusing the world's strategy on drugs. We'll continue to keep up with the latest on this extremely powerful and potentially profitable trend and keep our readers informed.

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  • Praetor

    Its a bunch old folks living in Florida, retirement center. The generations that where sold drugs are bad, so lets ban them. Even though their down there hitting their booze and dropping their Pharma pills, to stay alive, sort of. Big voting block. The closer you get to the boarder, the less likely you will find a willingness to legalize cannabis or hemp, because of their experience with the criminal element of the black market and areas where the people worship at the tit of fed government, and the religious belt, the ones who want to prohibit an aspect of life considered ‘sinful’, these areas may take a generational die off to see change, sad to say they be brainwashed. This is why I say, medical and the high time of cannabis should be separate, two separate issues, its like, I want to party or I need my medicine. The oldies view is, you need meds go down to the RX and get them, just like they do. It will take time for the change to happen in some areas. The future business, an Obituary mag or website of the great die off, when the boomers reach the ages of dying, then there will be change on a big scale. The last generation feed the lie that prohibition can fix everything!!!

  • Bruce C.

    From sunny South Florida:

    I don’t know any parent who wants – or is even “okay with” – their kids smoking pot. So, I think what concerns some people is that the breathlessly alleged PROFIT potential of legalized marijuana implies widespread and greater use. Not only would there be no social stigma remaining that might inhibit it use, there wouldn’t be any legal issues either, and there might very well be persuasive advertising to boot and efforts to strengthen the drug or make it more addictive or more depressive. One might argue that these are paranoic fears but I don’t think so.

    There is also the rather bizarre argument that legalization would provide more tax revenue – as if that’s a good thing, especially to the libertarian and anti-government “freedom loving” anarchist types. Who the hell wants the government to get more money and control? On that basis alone I say let the marijuana industry stay black market.

    Another thing that concerns some people is the constant conflation of “medical marijuana” with widespread recreational use. Proponents may claim marijuana isn’t a gateway drug, but they also expect marijuana legalized for medical use to be a foot in the door for wider acceptance.

    I don’t particularly like prohibition of substances myself but there is something about this push to legalize pot that rubs me wrong. Maybe it’s because the young people I know who are basically not very ambitious, and yet consider pot legalization one of their most important political issues. I think if they were engaged in something fulfilling they would care less about it. There seems to be something cynical and seedy about the whole subject.

    • Praetor

      Seedy, sinful and down right evil! When has anything prohibited not lead to seedy, sinful and bizarre behavior? The BLACK market is the very reason to legalize, do away with the criminal element, stop the wars of any kind and you take the seedy, sinful and bizarre behavior out of it. When they raised the drinking age from 18 to 21 did that stop 18 yr. old from taking his dad’s beer out the frig. ‘no’, did it stop the kid from going down to the quickie mart and get someone of legal age to buy some beer or booze, ‘no’, we need to stop trying to control everybody from doing anything and using kids as a reason to control, that’s BS. Who cares about the taxes, in time the gov. is going to tax you for sneezing in public, who cares. I know, let burn some books while we’re at it, ban things that is!!!

      • Good points.

        • Praetor

          Thanks. Those that think cannabis use is another sin that needs to be controlled, they need to look into the history of burning incense of their religion and find out what herb was in use. There are a lot of misperception out there and will take a lot of time to get rid of those misperceptions. As the old saying goes, god created the earth and everything on it, so how is it anything grown out of the earth bad. The history we’re told is a lie!!!

    • As re. your fears, extensive studies on the results in states/countries that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis (and other drugs) show a record of extremely positive outcomes. See, for instance, Portugal, after nearly 15 years, Colorado after its first year, The Netherlands after changes there … Of course most parents do not want their kids to smoke pot, but how is legalizing it for adults going to increase the numbers of minors using it? Where it’s happened, the results have been the exact opposite.

      Your last para may speak to that. Once legalized, it’s no longer a “fight” to be had or something “subversive” to do, and interest (use) has lessened among youth. That’s what the health minister of Portugal said to explain why use by minors was down so much there – basically, he said, ‘it’s no longer disallowed so now it’s boring.’

      The black market wars have wrought death and destruction around the world. Leaving it as is surely isn’t an option, no matter how much we may wish to not pad the pockets of government … If you look at the leading voices calling on the UN to stop this devastation by legalizing drugs, it’s those heads of state whose countries have been hardest hit. Fairly compelling argument.

      • Bruce C.

        When I wrote “kids” I meant one’s offspring at any age. Just because a loved one is over 18 doesn’t mean what they do or don’t do no longer matters. In fact, it’s more depressing that a late 20-something starts smoking grass than a kid in middle or high school. At least the young ones are probably just having fun and will hopefully grow out of it. But when an older kid starts its usually because they’re depressed and it’s sad to see. Then they get tattoos and bad boyfriend/girlfriends and it goes down hill from there. I know it’s a free country but it’s tragic.

    • alaska3636

      Humans have a long and fruitful relationship with hallucinogens. I have seen convincing work that the origin of modern consciousness and the facility of abstract ideas that separates a sapien from an erectus brain may have coincided with the consumption of poisonous mushrooms, namely amanita muscaria as well as the more modern psilocybin.

      The tribes of the amazon have a millennia long relationship with the ayahuasca brew which is still not adequately understood as, in order to activate the hallucenogenic properties in the iboga vine, it needs to be cooked with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor. There are literally hundreds of plants in the amazon and these tribes stumbled onto a very specific concoction of two of them which has become a large influence over their shamanistic religions.

      Many cultures, historically, have respected the profound effects of these plants as a gateway to entirely new modes of thinking. The Egyptians recognized and used the hallucinogenic effects of the mandrake and water lily; the aboriginal Australians had the acacia. Modern research shows that hallucinogens drive recovery rates in addicts in many orders of magnitude better than the next best methods. It is a very modern and essentially puritan view of the world which does not respect the potential of these plants for very real and very positive growth in people. It is very easy to look at “primitive” cultures whose use of these plants seem unscientific to a modern western perspective and completely miss the spiritual connection that these peoples have with the world that is missing in the West, often to be replaced by alcohol, television, evangelists, politics or just down right deterministic malaise.

      Much of the so-called expert opinion on hallucinogens comes from people without any firsthand experience of there effects, which should be enough for the average skeptic to question their worth.

  • Peter Lemmon

    The truth of the subject is that our supreme court need to de
    facto rescind this lie of no medicinal value on cannabis, it is an in your face
    omission of the truth.

    President Nixon had
    his head torqued a little too tight and a bully pulpit in congress.

    We the American
    people in view of the healing evidence and that we are all witness to need to
    use our 1st amendment rights and get this schedule dropped on cannabis.

    They should do
    something immediately on the executive branch
    leadership to change this or live in their own shame as a common
    criminal .

    You are no less than
    those who stood trial witness to Nuremberg.