Former Governor Jeb Bush Joins “Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot Coalition”
TALLAHASSEE –Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush today expressed serious concerns about proposed Florida constitutional Amendment 2 and the problems it could create by allowing large-scale marijuana commercialization and sales in Florida.
Today, Gov. Bush, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and other Florida business leaders announced they are adding their voices to the Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot coalition.
“Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire,” said Gov. Bush. “Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts. I believe it is the right of states to decide this issue, and I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November.”
The Florida Chamber, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida and the Florida Trucking Association also announced they are joining the coalition. The coalition is a collective effort of local and state organizations working together to educate Floridians on the dangers of marijuana and efforts to allow marijuana for supposed medical uses in Florida. It is conducting an educational campaign on problems it sees with Amendment 2 which will be on the Florida ballot in November.
“Normally we focus on creating jobs, improving education and making Florida more competitive, but this is the type of business Florida can do without,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “I find it curious that the largest funder of this push to legalize pot is a personal injury trial lawyer firm, yet such measures are overwhelmingly opposed by Florida’s medical and law enforcement community. Florida voters are smart and when the facts are on the table, I believe they will say no to drugs in Florida.” Wilson also raised concerns that growers, transporters, sellers, doctors, patients and caregivers involved in the transfer and administration of potent marijuana products will be given complete civil and criminal immunity under the amendment. “That,” he said, “is a huge red flag for Amendment 2.”
National drug policy expert Calvina Fay, Executive Director of the Drug Free America Foundation, raised another red flag that she says is most concerning. “Our greatest fear is that this will make marijuana much more available to kids and, worse, almost normalize it to them. They’ll see that it is legal and supposedly being used as medicine, so they think it is no big deal,” said Fay.
Fay pointed to two recent studies to make the point: A Northwestern University study released last December, Marijuana Users Have Abnormal Brain Structure and Poor Memory, researched teens that regularly used marijuana. It found that memory related structures in their brains appeared to shrink and collapse inward, possibly reflecting a decrease in neurons. In June, the New England Journal of Medicine published a comprehensive study entitled Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use which cited similar findings.