JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The conversation is back, but this time with a renewed vigor. Advocates want to legalize marijuana in the Sunshine State this legislative session.
"We know cannabis does not belong in "Schedule 1" and we're asking the Attorney General to help us out," said Jodi James, Executive Director of the Florida Cannabis Action Network (FLCAN).
Here in Florida, marijuana is classified as an illegal "Schedule 1" drug. By definition, that designation means the drug has a "high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States."
But FLCAN is trying to change that. It sent a petition with 10,000 signatures to Attorney General Pam Bondi's office requesting cannabis be removed from "Schedule 1."
James tells Action News she also met in person with the Prescription Drug and Special Projects Unit.
"We met with the Chief Policy Advisor and he was excellent. I have every reason to believe he's going to do the best possible job," said James.
But not everyone is as enthusiastic.
"Florida would be one of the last states in the country to move forward legalization of illegal drugs the way they are now," said Mike Weinstein.
Weinstein, a local prosecutor and former member of the State House of Representatives, says there are plenty of reasons to not legalize marijuana in any way.
"Any use of illegal drugs tends to move toward more illegal use of more substantial drugs. The use of drugs tends to bring about other crimes as well," said Weinstein.
But the advocates argue this would not only be a cost-cutting measure but a life-saving law.
James says the fight has just begun.
"We will certainly continue to pursue this through the attorney general's office, through the courts, through the Legislature, and through the Constitution," said James.
So far, 18 states and Washington D.C. have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana. This Election Day, Colorado and Washington legalized the drug for recreational use.
Action News reached out to the attorney general's office for comment and it sent us this statement:
"The Attorney General's Office believes the emergency rule-making process is designed for addressing drug problems that pose an immediate threat to the safety of Floridians, such as synthetic drugs.
This issue is best addressed through the legislative process, not through the emergency rule-making process."