This time next year Donald Trump and the Democrat Party’s nominee for President will be slugging it out daily, and much of that slugfest will center on the state of Florida. The last time the candidate who didn’t become President won Florida was 1992. It will be at the forefront of Election Night 2020 coverage on all of the networks.
And hopefully – while many are focused on the Presidential election – there will be another battle shaping up in the Sunshine State: the fight over adult-use marijuana legalization.
But there is a long way to go in a politically diverse state that has only had a medical marijuana program for a couple of years, one that has struggled at times. So far, Regulate Florida has cleared the first major hurdle to getting the issue on the ballot next year, and the powerhouse behind medical marijuana in the state, John Morgan, has come out publicly in favor of adult-use legalization. But there is still so much more to do.
“Fundraising could be much better than it is,” Karen Seeb Goldstein, Vice-Chair of Regulate Florida, told The Marijuana Times. “We have lots of grassroots support, with individual donations coming in pretty steadily, but we really need someone with deep pockets, to reach into that pocket and make a BIG donation to Regulate Florida. This would be a great investment for someone who wants to get into the cannabis industry in Florida.”
In a state as large and heavily populated as Florida, something this massive won’t be accomplished without equally massive resources. “As we saw with Amendment 2, we need lots of money,” Karen said. “We probably need a few million dollars to get it to the ballot and beyond, to the campaign to educate and dispel the misinformation that still exists among certain groups.”
When asked about some of the “must haves” needed in any legalization measure, Karen cited home growing as a priority. “Being admin on several social media groups, I can tell you that the ability for individuals to cultivate must be part of any initiative in order to succeed. Lots of patients are unhappy with the cost and the limited strains available to them through the medical marijuana program as it exists in Florida. Home cultivation would help patients and non-patients alike. Growing one’s own cannabis is very therapeutic and can be as helpful as consuming the medicine.”
Another priority, due to the fact that Florida receives millions of tourists from other states every year, will be social consumption areas. “Those coming to Florida’s many attractions will want to be able to enjoy the benefits of cannabis, just as they do alcohol,” Karen told us. “Hotels and other tourist spots will probably not permit cannabis consumption by vaping or smoking, and unless there are accepted locations, like cannabis cafés or lounges, visitors will be unable to legally enjoy the products they purchase.”
The importance to the cannabis community of a victory for adult-use legalization in Florida cannot be overstated. Victories in heavily populated states have the obvious advantage of bringing cannabis access to a large number of people with a single measure. And a victory in Florida could be a prelude to future wins in other big states like Pennsylvania, New York and Texas.
If you live in Florida, there are a few things you can do to help Regulate Florida. Below are links that can be used to download petitions and donate to the cause. Share them far and wide on your social media. This is a great opportunity for Florida activists; don’t let it go by the wayside.
Print and sign the petition: www.RegulateFlorida.com/sign