Uncle Luke, the man who made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke says its time to legalize medical marijuana.
Florida lawmakers need to roll up a fat joint and chill out. While the Republican-dominated state legislature moves full speed ahead to ban the sale of bongs and glass pipes, they are ignoring a measure to legalize medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. Legislators must think we're still living in 1936, the year the anti-marijuana film Reefer Madness hit movie theaters across the country.
Florida is being left behind in the growing national movement to end pot prohibition. Since California became the first to legalize medical ganja in 1996, 19 other states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws making it okay for doctors to prescribe kind bud to patients suffering from all kinds of debilitating ailments, from Lou Gehrig's Disease to AIDS. A February poll by People United For Medical Marijuana (PUFMM) revealed that seven out of 10 Floridians support medical marijuana.
In addition, 14 states have enacted laws that eliminate criminal penalties for people caught with small amounts of weed. Heck, it's now perfectly legal to use marijuana recreationally in Colorado and Washington. There is even a bill in Congress that would end the federal government's prohibition against pot.
Yet, Rep. Darryl Rouson from bible-thumping Brandenton, wants Florida to continue screwing the populace with his anti-pot measures. In 2010, he backed a bill that became law limiting bong and pipe sales to stores that did 75 percent of their sales from tobacco. Now he's championing a more hardcore ban.
Stoners would have to travel outside of Florida to buy bongs and glass pipes if Rouson's more draconian measure passes. Meanwhile, a bill that would allow patients to possess up to four ounces of marijuana and grow up to eight plants has not gotten a hearing in either the House or the Senate.
State legislators would rather let sick people continue spending thousands of dollars on prescription pills, as well as pass up an opportunity to generate millions of dollars in marijuana tax revenue. California's medical cannabis industry took in about $2 billion a year and generated $100 million in state sales taxes in 2008.
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magine what it could do for our cash-strapped state, which is already home to the most illegal indoor growhouses in the nation. Florida pot dealers are already the largest suppliers for the United States East Coast.
If the politicians in Tallahassee really want to fight the war on drugs, they should ban crack pipes. But then again, that's what they are probably smoking themselves.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.