Would Amendment 2 -- Florida's bid to legalize medical marijuana on this November's ballot -- really let convicted felons sell pot with no penalties? That's what a new statewide ad urging voters to turn against the proposition claims, with an ominous voice intoning that "Even felons and drug dealers could be caregivers."
Of course that's not really true. Could is the operative word, because the amendment gives legislators six months to set rules on how medical pot would actually work. If it's not already obvious that GOP-controlled Tallahassee isn't likely to leave such glaring loopholes for caregivers, a group headed by a former Florida House speaker has released a proposed set of guidelines on how to regulate the drug.
The main point of the ad -- that anyone could be a caregiver, even terrifying "marijuana dealers" -- has already been tackled by PolitiFact. Although the ads' claims are true in the most technical sense of the word "true," that's simply because Amendment 2 wouldn't set up any rules for caregivers.
Instead, it gives legislators six months to make those rules -- along with a host of other regulatory decisions.
Here's the key takeaway from Politifact:
Ultimately, Florida could add any restrictions it chooses, such as denying the IDs to felons. Vermont, for instance, won't allow people with drug-related felonies to register, whereas some other states expand the guidelines to prevent people with other violent crime convictions from qualifying.
So who thinks that the Florida Legislature and the state's Department of Health, when handed Amendment 2 and given six months to put it into action, would really pass language letting convicted felons act as caregivers?
Further putting that fear to rest comes a new list of "principals" from Florida for Care, a primary backer of the Amendment. The recommendations come from a blue ribbon panel vice chaired by Miami GOP stalwart Alex Diaz de la Portilla of all people.
The report lays out six pages worth of plans for the legislature, including creating a marijuana control division at FDLE and -- yes -- banning felons from acting as caregivers.
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Here are the recommendations, which the group plans to formalize into a full legislative package in coming weeks: