When it comes to marijuana legalization – Governor DeSantis wants it both ways – His Way – and convincing the majority of people who are pro legalization to support him on his way
Ron DeSantis is hoping for a better year. 2023 started strong with positive approval rates, a presidential campaign and Florida doing his bidding. But things got messy and by the end of the year, things had taken an ugly turn. He is losing in both national and statewide polls, the presidential campaign trail has only released scandals and messes, and Floridians are losing interest in him as he begs for more taxpayer money to keep up his feud with Disney and others. So once again he is turning for help with something popular. Governor Desantis wants it both ways on marijuana.
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During his 2018 campaign he dismissed recreational marijuana because his high school classmates who used weed didn’t turn out as well as him. Sheldon Addison, the Las Vegas billionaire was a major backer. Adelson, along with the private prison lobby, helped fund anti-marijuana efforts across the country, including in Florida.
When he ran for Governor, DeSantis cozied up with the marijuana lobby, where one of the leaders were Panhandle Congressman Matt Gaetz. Despite his distaste of marijuana and his constantly blocking recreational, he did easy their campaign checks and sign in medical marijuana. But the law DeSantis signed to start the Florida medical marijuana industry became a foundation for income for donors and a nightmare for patients. DeSantis ensured only a handful of companies could sell marijuana through a regulatory system he once likened to a “cartel”.
Now, when he is running around the country in private planes his campaign struggles to afford, the people of Florida are pushing for recreational cannabis. On the campaign trail part of his stump speech is he is working for the people. But when it comes to weed what he says and does is two different things. UNF Public Opinion Research Lab (PORL), found that 67% of those surveyed said that they would vote for a state constitutional amendment to legalize the possession and regulated sales of small amounts of marijuana for personal use by adults. Only 28% said that they would vote against such a ballot measure. But he is allowing his Attorney General to put up as many roadblocks as possible without having to play the bad guy.
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DeSantis always positions himself as the savor of Florida as he feels he knows best. While is comments on the messed up system in California has merits, he is flat out wrong on Colorado. The states system has reduced the black market, there is a decrease in youth use and cities haven’t suddenly become crime filled due to legal weed.
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Last marijuana election, 71% of the population wanted a free and open medical marijuana systems. The Governor feels they were confused. This year’s election will see if Florida voters have faith in DeSantis to continue to run a nanny state and allow him to decide about marijuana and other benefits for citizens. There is little chance of him being elected as president and the public seeing if follows thought on his promise hands-off approach like prior administrations from both parties. But the people of Florida will experience first hand.