Last Friday, Florida House General Council Daniel Nordby was joined by Senate General Council George Levesque in filing a 50-page brief with the Supreme Court, in opposition to the proposed medical marijuana amendment.
Nordby and Levesque argue that the summary and ballot title are misleading, written to hide some kind of subversive ‘true purpose’. They also argue that creating a regulatory system, removing penalties for doctors who’d like to prescribe cannabis and decriminalizing possession for qualifying patients is just too much to vote on at the same time.
This classic example of ‘logrolling’ denies voters the opportunity to vote in favor of a simple decriminalization of medical marijuana use by individuals suffering from serious illnesses, without also expanding the regulatory reach of state government or providing immunity from civil liability.
Translation: “We would be fine with a medical marijuana amendment that would allow patients with a recommendation to possess marijuana, but only if we don’t allow doctors to recommend it or caregivers or dispensaries to sell it. We’d like a medical marijuana amendment that does nothing.”
Why is there still so much government opposition to medical marijuana? With a majority of Americans favoring recreational legalization, and Miami Beach recently voting almost 2 to 1 in favor of medical marijuana, surely this 50-page brief opposing setting up a system to realistically allow patients access to medical marijuana is a colossal waste of taxpayer funds. The people have spoken, legalization is on its way. It is the job of our government (we’re still a democracy, right?) to enact marijuana legislation, medical or recreational, rather than oppose it.
If the most awful thing Nordby and Levesque were concerned about were to happen, and a doctor recommended marijuana for a condition that these lawyers don’t think is serious enough and that person then goes to a regulated store to purchase their ill-gotten demon-weed, who would be harmed? That person can already choose to buy marijuana from a number of black market sources if they so choose, and doing so would potentially support other criminal activity. Even if people manage to obtain doctor’s recommendations for the wrong reasons, the outcome is still positive overall.