Police lights flashed outside Churchill’s Pub in Little Haiti this past weekend during the Vote Yes Marijuana Fest, but no one seemed to mind. The officers had been hired to work the event. There were no plans to rough up any of the participants of the festivities, which included a 2:30 a.m. blunt-rolling contest.
“The police understand,” organizer Oski Gonzalez said. “They don’t want to keep hassling people because of some marijuana. They want to be out looking for some real criminals.”
The Vote Yes Fest was held to encourage people to head to the polls November 8 to support Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana in Florida. A similar measure was rejected by voters in 2014.
“It seems what happened last time was there was such a minute percentage that blocked it,” Gonzalez says. “Hopefully this time around, that won’t happen.”
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Gonzalez says Florida should look to Colorado, which raised $105 million in marijuana taxes during the first half of the year.
“Colorado hasn’t had an issue yet besides money coming in they can use for schools, roads,” he says. “We should regulate it, tax it.”
About 40 people registered to vote during the event. Eligible voters have until October 11 to register with their supervisor of elections. Absentee ballots can be requested online through November 2.
“If you get an absentee ballot, you don’t even have to go there,” Gonzalez says. “We need to pass this law.”