Florida Sheriffs Launch Medical Marijuana Opposition Campaign

The many opponents of legalized marijuana in Florida have come and gone, defeated with facts and science and the power of the people.

But, like a ferocious hungry hydra looking to devour the movement at every turn, opposition continues to rear its long, scaly talons at preventing medical weed from being legalized.

The most recent -- and perhaps biggest -- opposition to date comes in the form of the Florida Sheriffs Association, which has launched a staunch anti-Amendment 2 campaign called "Don't Let Florida Go to Pot."

See also: Florida Medical Marijuana's Biggest Opponents and Threats

On its website, the FSA put up a "public safety" page, detailing reasons why it opposes the passing of Amendment 2 and linking to different articles that support its concerns.

The FSA is also joining other anti-medical marijuana groups, such as Save Our Society From Drugs, to push the "Don't Let Florida Go to Pot" movement, although it says it's not planning on making it a political thing.

While it does plan on taking donations for the campaign, the FSA's tax status keeps it from outright telling people to vote no on Amendment 2.

So, this is all about "educating" the public while also having something for politicians opposed to medical marijuana as a reputable group to point to in their push to have people vote no in November.

The FSA's Public Safety Page states some shaky talking points, such as saying medical marijuana has no medical benefits, when the opposite has been proven time and again.

From the FSA website:

Currently, Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I Drug by Florida Statutes, the U.S. Congress and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Schedule I drugs are classified as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment and a lack of accepted safety for use. After decades of research, the Food and Drug Administration continues to reaffirm that there is no medical benefit provided by smoking marijuana and that, in fact, considerable harm can be caused by such use.

Weirdly, the FSA was outspoken about getting the Charlotte's Web bill pushed through, which by definition, has it admitting that marijuana can be medicinal.

"Charlotte's Web," which is a strain of marijuana that has had the THC levels -- the stuff in weed that gets you high -- removed, is used to help children who suffer from a rare form of epilepsy.

The bill passed a Florida House Judiciary Committee earlier this week, which would make it legal to prescribe Charlotte's Web to the kids who need it.

Because, it's medicinal.

In response to the "Don't Let Florida Go to Pot" campaign, United for Care sent out an email blast asking supporters for donations.

"The [FSA] just backed a very narrow strain of medical marijuana usable for epilepsy -- so there is no dispute that marijuana is actually medicine," United for Care Campaign Manager Ben Pollara wrote. "Apparently, they're willing to turn their backs on all of the other patients who are in need."

There was never doubt that Amendment 2 would start to meet serious resistance that went past just the kooks who say dumb things about marijuana.

But the FSA's organized campaign poses a serious threat, which means the fight to get Amendment 2 passed is very much on.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph