Florida sheriffs gather to talk pot

by: Jamie Smith Updated:


Like countless Floridians, Sam Joiner of Ponte Vedra Beach has a strong opinion about voting in favor of Amendment 2, which would legalize prescriptions to smoke marijuana.

"I think it's a step in right direction for decriminalization and that's what we want," said Joyner.

But that's exactly what law enforcement officials fear.

"It could very well be the first step to legalization, which could create another host of other problems," said David Shoar, sheriff of St. Johns County.

Shoar is the incoming president of the Florida Sheriffs Association, which gathered in his county for the organization's summer conference. The sheriffs met Monday to discuss Amendment 2.

Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said most sheriffs would support medical marijuana for debilitating conditions, but not when it opens the door to any "other" condition a doctor might consider debilitating.

"If you say, 'Do you support smoking it for tennis elbow, a sore back anxiety, headaches?' That's where the support falls off," said Rutherford.