Skip to comments.Medical marijuana initiative could liven up Florida governor race
Posted on 06/27/2014 11:47:52 PM PDT by PoloSec
Insert your favorite marijuana-related pun here: The Florida governor's race is blazing right along, the candidates are burning up the trail, the contest is really getting in the weeds, etc.
However you put it, a ballot initiative on medical marijuana could have a major effect on the re-election campaign of Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
A businessman who made millions in the health care industry, Scott faces Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor now running as a Democrat after a failed Senate bid.
The Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative, also known as Amendment 2, would legalize medical marijuana for patients who get a recommendation from their doctors.
Scott is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent governors, and the pricey race will have no lack of national media attention.
But that doesnt mean a little marijuana drama cant make it even livelier.
Amendment 2 has already drawn big money -- Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson has put $2.5 million into efforts to fight the amendment, and prominent Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan has spent around $4 million in favor of it. Crist is an attorney at Morgan's firm, Morgan & Morgan, and has appeared prominently in many of its advertisements.
But medical marijuana legalization isn't a clear-cut partisan issue splitting both Democrats and Republicans.
According to Reuters, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, currently the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, lost Morgan's support for questioning the initiative and voting against pro-medical marijuana legislation in Congress.
Scott opposes Amendment 2, but he recently signed legislation that legalized the prescription of a strain of non-euphoric marijuana that can help treat epilepsy, Lou Gehrig's disease, and other ailments. The strain is low in THC and the bill only allows marijuana consumption through oil or vapors, but not by smoking, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
That sets up an interesting political dynamic for the November elections, and state political observers say it makes things particularly complicated for Republicans.
Conventional wisdom is that pro-marijuana legalization ballot initiatives increase Democratic turnout, as they can do more to energize young voters than individual politicians can. It remains to be seen just how much effect it will have in Florida, but it looks like the GOP has more to lose than Sunshine State Democrats.
Theyre only surefire voter-turnout mechanisms for Democrats if Republicans are dumbasses, said Rick Wilson, a long-time Republican consultant in the state, of pro-pot ballot initiatives. Thats the word you should actually use, because thats the word I use in a briefing that I give. This is a classic case of, 'Dont give your enemy a sword to cut off your head.'
If the amendment proves a helpful way for Democrats to paint Republicans as compassionless and pro-suffering, Wilson continued, then it could make things tough for Scott.
Republicans should understand that society has changed on this question, he said.
But pot problems for the governor aren't necessarily preordained. Mac Stipanovich, a long-time Republican strategist and lobbyist, said Republicans fall into two categories on the issue.
The first one being, people who smoke marijuana arent going to vote, he said, and the second one being, well, we all smoke marijuana so it doesnt make a difference!
He added that the Republican-controlled legislatures passage of the narrow medical marijuana law may have sufficiently clouded the issue.
Nobodys going to get a clear shot at anybody, he said.
But it may sow conflict in some right-wing circles. One Tea Party leader said that the conservative activists he works with are sharply divided on the issue. Some who sympathize with the libertarian wing of the movement see medical marijuana legalization as a move in the right direction for personal freedoms.
But others are suspicious of the amendment and question it because it has Morgan's support. Scotts opposition to the amendment wont be a problem for them.
Given how competitive the Florida governor's race is, turnout will be key. A WFLA-TV poll from June 24 showed the incumbent leading by just one point. It also gives Crist a lead with young voters. WFLA-TV's second-latest poll, taken two weeks earlier than their latest, put Crist up 44-40.
So its an exciting race, to be blunt.
It will get the really low information, pothead voters to the polls anyway.
That means a Democrat governor in FL! /s;)
The ‘RATS are trying the same thing here. They want to put a ‘Let’s Be Like Colorado and Washington” proposition on the ballot. “Legalize it and then TAX the hell out of it”. The DemocRATS are in perpetual orgasm. Lots of free money for them to spend and happy smoke too! If you’re a ‘RAT politician, it don’t get any better. It will also get the low to no information types to the polls to vote for the ‘RATS.
“One Tea Party leader said that the conservative activists he works with are sharply divided on the issue”
well, you know what they say, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”
From the pretender.
From the master.
The anthem of drunks and dopers all over the U.S.
This is NOT medical marijuana, which is ALREADY AVAILABLE in Florida. This is a GOTV scheme supported by prominent DemocRATs, pure and simple.
Indeed it has.
What business is it of yours what another Citizen takes for what ever reason/ailment?
Who gave you the right to determine someone else's medical treatments?
Is this not the R version of the ACA?
when your heart’s on fire...
when a lovely flame dies...
Smoke gets in your eyes!
Putting the “duh” in Flori-duh.
It’s been my strong observation and belief that we aren’t going to get very far in the long run trying to ban a substance. Lacking the spirit of God invited into their lives, people only exchange one bad habit for another.
It is purposeful or negligent uses to the ill that should be banned if something needs banning. Case in point: people in medpot/free-pot states have been caught blindsided by such things as pot-laced food that was ingested unknowingly by children. This should be very deeply frowned upon, depending on how bad the incident was.
That seems to need further regulation. I could even see banning pot in child-enticing food items - bake your own damn brownies!