Broward County Passes Model Ordinance to Regulate "Pill Mills" That Don't Actually Exist

The Broward County Commission unanimously passed a new zoning and regulatory ordinance yesterday for pain management clinics in unincorporated areas of the county.

This new ordinance requires all of the supposed "pill mills" in those areas to provide proof of registration with the Florida Department of Health, mandates a signed affidavit that nobody working at the clinic has recently been convicted of a drug felony, and limits the hours of operation, among other things.

Citing that the county was once home to 18 of the top 25 oxycodone-dispensing doctors, the commission also mandated the pain clinics can't come within 1,200 feet of another pain clinic, church, school, or child care center.

The only problem with the stricter regulations -- there aren't any pain management clinics in the unincorporated areas of Broward County.

"No fiscal impact is expected with this amended ordinance," county management and budget director Kayla Olsen states in a memo. "Currently there are no Pain Management Clinics in unincorporated Broward County. Any clinic wishing to operate in an unincorporated area would have to apply for a Certificate of Use and all associated fees would be collected."

But the commissioners insist there's a point to their imaginary regulations.

The new ordinance also authorizes the county commissioners to lobby other cities -- on behalf of the county -- into adopting their "model ordinance."

It would seem like it'd be a little tough to persuade cities to implement an ordinance that's never been tested, but they're going to try it nonetheless.

"We need to treat this like a 31-city campaign. We should let our cities know that all nine of us support this ordinance and want the same ordinance enacted in all cities," Commissioner Chip LaMarca told the Observer.

Click here to read the entire text of the ordinance.

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