Gov. Scott will vote against medical marijuana

David Albers/Staff 
 - Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks about the relocation of Hertz's corporate headquarters to Lee County during a press conference at the Hertz rental car counter at Southwest Florida International Airport on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Fort Myers.

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David Albers/Staff - Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks about the relocation of Hertz's corporate headquarters to Lee County during a press conference at the Hertz rental car counter at Southwest Florida International Airport on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Fort Myers.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republican Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday he will vote against a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the medical use of marijuana if it makes the 2014 ballot.

"I have a great deal of empathy for people battling difficult diseases and I understand arguments in favor of this initiative. But, having seen the terrible effects of alcohol and drug abuse first-hand, I cannot endorse sending Florida down this path and I would personally vote against it," Scott said through a spokeswoman. "No matter my personal beliefs, however, a ballot initiative would be up to the voters to decide."

The issue will put him at odds with Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, who is seeking the nomination to get his old job back with his new party.

Scott, who is the former CEO of the Columbia/HCA hospital chain, has previously said he is opposed to "illegal drug abuse" but hasn't specifically expressed opposition to the effort to allow use of marijuana for medical purposes when prescribed by a doctor.

Scott also supports Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi's effort to keep the proposal off the ballot by arguing the 74-word summary of the proposed amendment is confusing. House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz, both Republicans, also support Bondi's effort.

Crist's boss, John Morgan of the Morgan & Morgan law firm, is leading a petition drive to put the proposed amendment on the ballot. He's less than 90,000-voter signatures away from the 683,149 needed to put the issue before Floridians. Morgan has spent nearly $3 million on the petition drive.

"No disrespect to the attorney general, but the notion of trying to get it to a point where you and I and the people of Florida don't get the opportunity to make this decision is not what a public servant should be doing. I support it, it's the right thing to do, it is out of compassion and I'm glad John's doing it," Crist said last week.

Morgan didn't return calls to his cellphone seeking comment.

The Supreme Court is considering Bondi's argument to strike the ballot language. The court will not rule on whether it approves of medical marijuana, but rather whether the 74-word ballot summary is misleading or not. Citizen initiatives are limited to 75 words when summing up a proposed constitutional amendment.

Morgan and the group United for Care have until Feb. 1 to reach the signature goal. United for Care said last week it has enough signatures, but they still have to be certified by elections supervisors.

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Follow Brendan Farrington on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bsfarrington

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Comments » 9

Ruger writes:

Obama doesn't think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, should we be expecting an executive order legalizing it nationally?

http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-...

1Paradiselost writes:

Unlike the idiots over at FOX News the whole quoit....

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life," Obama told the New Yorker's David Remnick. "I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”The president acknowledged marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer."

"It’s not something I encourage," Obama continued, "and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”

Still, he said, "we should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.”

On the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, Obama said, “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished".

Don't sound like a Executive order here.

KNOW your federal laws...These are States issues!

You keep bringing it up, and were in need of knowledge.... please tell us all what an Executive Order is and what are the Presidents limitations?

Ruger writes:

So now our children will think smoking weed isn't any worse than drinking alcohol, just great. It's worse than Clinton telling them oral sex wasn't really sex.

MIOCENE1 writes:

Medical Marijuana is nothing new.
Ancient civilizations were using it thousands of years ago; Egypt, Greece and India; for easing all kinds of pain and ailments; including burning it in birthing chambers.

Most of us here (including SCOTT) haven't descended from these civilizations.

Our background is of the Christian heritage, where for centuries the easing of pain was not a priority. Actually, it was just the opposite. Pain and suffering was considered admirable since Christianity was founded upon the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.

It wasn't until the 19th Century when the Christian world began accepting pain killers. The idea of painless surgery was laughed at before then.

Anyway: Our Puritanical Christian Heritage has a lot to do with blocking medical marijuana.

Other then that: Our Federal Laws against Marijuana didn't arise out of health concerns.
The 'Puritan types' in the 1930's who wanted to ban Marijuana claimed that the drug made Black Men lust after White Women.

That started a panic which ended with laws based upon ignorance and superstition.

So as one can see: The current taboos against Marijuana are invalid.

1Paradiselost writes:

Tax it!

tikihut2206 writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

Tax it!

I so agree legalize it and put heavy tax on it..they put big taxes on alcohol and cigarettes why not pot...also legalize prostitution and tax that...if we do they will be victim less crimes..and our taxes may go down...

Ruger writes:

Interesting that there is no blow-back about flavored weed in Colorado. They are putting it in candy and many foods, isn't this how children are allegedly enticed to use and abuse tobacco and alcohol?

Won't someone please think about the children and ban all flavors??

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic...

the most popular treats are marijuana infused chocolate bars for $15 and chocolate Dixie rolls that cost $17 per pack

1Paradiselost writes:

Ever notice some of the bloggers here are against everything?

Colorado and its new laws concerning the sale of marijuana is a wash in new fresh tax money. State officials are wonder what they are going to do with all the new revenue. It's estimated over a billion dollars when all is said and done.

Do you have any idea how many thousands of good paying jobs could be created?

FYI.... On this island they sell more rolling paper to little old ladies than cigarettes?

What do you think they are doing with those papers?

Currently the profit from marijuana in Florida goes to the underworld and the gang bangers in the hood.

How could any rational human being support that? The underworld has so much untaxed money, murders happen on our streets daily. Why do you think there is so much gang violence, MONEY? Each gang member fights for their turf with weapons including guns. How many heart breaking stories have we read where a young boy of girl is killed in the crossfire?

Nixon's war against drugs has been a total failure of our tax dollars for the past 45 years.

If any of you truly believes in the conservative principals of less government and less regulation/laws.

Ending the current regulation against the sale of marijuana would be a good start.

marco97 writes:

I agree with what 1Paradiselost said, legalizing marijuana would take money away from gangs and save lives in the process.

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