Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and current GOP favorite for 2016, has come out and publicly stated his opposition to Amendment 2, which, if passed, would legalize medical marijuana in Florida.
Even with a majority of Floridians polled favoring the measure and with current candidate for governor Charlie Crist coming out in favor of it, Bush released a statement urging people to vote against it.
In his statement, Jeb focuses on how medical marijuana could potentially ruin Florida's "family friendly" image and echoed the anti-marijuana group No on 2's take that legalizing marijuana for medical purposes would lead to weed being made legal everywhere due to these mysterious loopholes they keep referring to.
"Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire," Bush said in his statement. "Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts. I believe it is the right of states to decide this issue, and I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November."
In response, medical marijuana advocacy group United for Care send out its own statement in rebuttal to Jeb's claims.
United for Care's campaign manager says Jeb's comments were surprising, given that he "would choose to take a position so out of step with the voters who twice elected him to the highest office in the state." Pollara says it seems Jeb is simply playing politics and going against the grain of his potential challengers for the Republican nomination in 2016.
"Former Governor Bush has always been an independent voice in the Republican Party, which may be why he's chosen to take a position on compassionate medical marijuana policy that is at odds with Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, and his other potential opponents for the 2016 presidential nomination -- including the more nuanced position taken by his protégé and possible primary opponent Sen. Marco Rubio, who at least supports the narrow medical marijuana law passed by the Republican-led state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott."