TALLAHASSEE – Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on Monday criticized a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana, as Attorney General Pam Bondi and Republican legislative leaders try to keep the measure off the November 2014 ballot.
“As the father of four, I can’t imagine a state that is going to spend tobacco-free money to tell kids not to dip snuff yet legalize marijuana,” Putnam said.
“If there are compassionate ways for people with very serious terminal illness to alleviate their suffering, then we ought to move forward with that,” he said. “But it’s my understanding that those pharmaceuticals already exist, that have harnessed the chemical properties of marijuana for pain relief without the social issues that go with having marijuana shops next to your Taekwondo and gymnastics studios.”
The ballot initiative is spearheaded by People United for Medical Marijuana, which is headed by prominent Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan.
Bondi, backed by GOP legislative leaders, contends the summary for the medical-marijuana proposal would deceive voters about the reach of the amendment, potentially making “Florida one of the most lenient medical-marijuana states.”
The Supreme Court will hear arguments about the ballot language Dec. 5.