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Will Florida be the next state to legalize marijuana?

By Matthew Donaldson | Staff Reporter
On March 26, 2019
 

Photo Courtesy of thedailymail.com

 
As advancements are made around the clock in the medical marijuana field, it’s safe to say that the once negative view of drug is slowly changing and turning into a positive. In some states you can go into a dispensary and purchase marijuana that’s pre-sealed.

If you are ever granted an opportunity to visit a dispensary you will get a first-hand view into the future of what it looks like. It could very well be regarded as the end of the prohibition on medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

A number of states allow marijuana to be used recreationally. Florida could be one of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana.Florida House Bill 1117 would allow adults, ages 21 and over, to legally possess, use and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to six plants.

 It would be regulated similar to alcohol. Under the bill, it would still be illegal to smoke or ingest marijuana in a public place. Violators would be subject to a penalty of $100. HB 1117 lays out noncriminal penalties for minors caught with marijuana.

A first offense would include a penalty of at least $200 but less than $400.

The penalties would increase with each subsequent offense. The bill would also allow licensed businesses to sell the drug, related products and accessories.

There would be restrictions on how many establishments would be allowed in a certain area. Local governments could still prohibit businesses. Licensed businesses under this bill would not be allowed to make sales between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. or to anyone visibly intoxicated.

Kevin Louis is a medical marijuana patient in Florida, and an advocate for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. “You know it’s one of those things that really needs to be rectified as soon as possible not just state wide but nationally. There are a lot of other major issues taking place in the country that need major attention than locking people up for a plant,” he said.. “Decriminalize it and focus on real issue like health care , affordable housing, etc.”

Lisa Cranes believes it’s a terrible idea to make marijuana recreational. “Now medically allowing people to indulge in marijuana is a great idea,” she said, “but the idea of people smoking marijuana outside just for leisure in public is something I can’t rap my mind around and now kids could be exposed to it early just walking into a store with their parents.”

Randy Butler, who has a family member  serving time for processing a small amount of marijuana, believes “there needs to be a restructuring of the marijuana laws and the people serving time for it, we have people in the world committing actual crimes like killing , harming children and worst. Why are we wasting tax payers money on people in prison for having a plant . It’s not fair , they shouldn’t have to lose a great chunk of their  life for a plant that medical experts see is saving people lives.”

There are still many steps in the political process that must be made before marijuana is legalized for recreational use, but the idea of the possibility is a sign of times changing.

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