Jacksonville Police Yet to Take a Stand on Recreational Marijuana Amendment

Jacksonville Police Yet to Take a Stand on Recreational Marijuana Amendment

Voters in Florida will have a chance to express their opinions on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use when they cast their ballots in November.

If enacted, Amendment 3 would permit adults in Florida over 21 to possess up to three ounces of marijuana for recreational purposes.

However, it is anticipated that law enforcement will probably be against the initiative.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, the top law enforcement official in the state, petitioned the state supreme court to remove the amendment from the ballot.

Despite her defeat, she still feels that the amendment deceives voters.

An emailed response from the Florida Attorney General’s office informed, “The Attorney General has said she respects the Court’s decision but maintains that voters will have to be educated about what this amendment will actually do.”

Speaker of the Florida House Paul Renner (R-Palm Bay) has also voiced his objection.

He claimed that because of the state’s easily available medical marijuana program, the amendment is superfluous and too wide.

“It looks innocuous, but then you start asking yourself, well, can you smoke on a child’s playground, can you smoke in an elevator?” Renner states.

Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve, countered that the amendment specifically provides state legislators the authority to regulate marijuana for recreational use and even gives them six months to do so before it goes into force.

“We would welcome a provision that would absolutely restrict time, place, and manner in terms of where consumption can happen just like the legislature does for many other things such as alcohol and tobacco,” Rivers stated.

Other law enforcement officials may also oppose it, but as of right now, neither the Florida Sheriffs Association nor the four local sheriffs in Northeast Florida have made a firm stand on the issue.

Professor of political science at UNF Dr. Michael Binder said that since support for recreational marijuana is significantly higher than the required 60%, there is a fair chance it will succeed as long as there isn’t a significant push to oppose legalization and change public opinion.

“And I also think even with a mild opposition campaign, I think it stands a good chance,” Binder stated.

Additionally, according to Rivers, proponents of cannabis are prepared to battle to see Amendment 3 through to the conclusion.

“This is not a Red or a Blue issue. It’s really a human rights issue as far as we’re concerned,” Rivers stated.

In November of last year, UNF conducted a statewide poll and concluded that 67% of respondents supported the recreational marijuana amendment. Only 28% of Floridians expressed opposition to the proposal.