Florida City Wants to Ban Smoking Medical Marijuana Before It's Even Legalized

Florida City Wants to Ban Smoking Medical Marijuana Before It's Even Legalized
Photo by Laurie Avacado via Wikimedia Commons | CC2.0

Floridians may be set to head to the polls in November to legalize medical marijuana, but could individual cities still ban smoking medical pot anyway? Bonita Springs, Florida, is going to try and is already drafting an ordinance banning smoking in public.

Which is slightly funny because Bonita Springs' most famous store is a fishing shop called Master Bait and Tackle (get it?), and its tourist stores sell a lot of "Bonita Springs: a drinking town with a fishing problem" shirts, but apparently medical pot is a bridge too far.

According to Political Fix Florida, the seven-member city council unanimously voted today to allow the city's attorney to start crafting an ordinance for such a ban.

The council then plans to officially vote on the ban on November 5. That's just a day after Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana statewide, would be voted on.

Several cities, most of them smaller and Republican-leaning, have passed or are considering laws that would limit medical marijuana within their limits.

Just the day before, city council members in nearby Naples were considering a law that would ban medical marijuana dispensaries and marijuana treatment centers within city limits. If such a ban is found to be unconstitutional, then city leaders are working on a backup law that would limit such facilities to a medical district.

Bonita Springs council members also discussed zoning issues and want to keep dispensaries away from schools.

More than 20 other municipalities in Florida have already passed similar bans.

The issue has popped up in almost every state that has legalized medical marijuana, most prominently in California. Last year the California Supreme Court ruled that cities are allowed to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their limits.

So if Floridians vote to legalize medical marijuana this November it may be coming to the state, but it might not be coming everywhere in equal measure.

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