JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Country music singers Howard and David Bellamy, along with Trulieve, the state’s largest medical-marijuana company, are pushing to legalize the drug for adults over 21.
“Together with our partners, we’re launching a new initiative in our home state of Florida,” the Bellamy Brothers said in a promotional video.
According to the Smart & Safe Florida political committee, the proposal would allow people 21 and up to “possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption.”
Keturah Johnson thinks it’s a great idea.
“(It’s something) God created on this green earth, and there’s a lot worse things,” she said. “As long as it’s controlled in a legal way, I feel like it does need to be passed. It’s long overdue.”
Toni McBryde agrees.
“I think it opens your mind and makes you think about things in a different way,” she said. “It’s not a drug that induces bad behavior like other drugs have been known to do, is my opinion.”
Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana. The News Service of Florida reports nearly 800,000 patients have been authorized for treatment.
According to a January article in Politico, during a press conference, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said part of the reason he doesn’t support legalizing recreational marijuana is that “it smells so putrid,” adding, “I want people to be able to breathe freely.”
Florida Cannabis Action Network president Jodi James finds the “star power” that the Bellamy Brothers and Trulieve bring to the table encouraging.
“We have to assure patients won’t be forgotten,” she said in a statement to Action News Jax. “In many states, the rush to the adult market left patients behind.”
James also brought up the businesses and farmers selling low-THC hemp products over the counter.
“As we expand the market to allow adults over 21 to legally consume cannabis, we want to assure the existing hemp market can also be part of the transition,” she said. “Having a competitive market is great for consumers and patients.”
Trulieve declined to comment Monday, saying that it’s Smart & Safe Florida’s initiative, not theirs.
The committee would need nearly 900,000 petition signatures to make it onto the 2024 ballot, according to the News Service of Florida.
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