Florida is looking for more ways to get money to correct its $2 billion budget shortfall. Some state lawmakers think legalizing medical marijuana could fix their money problems.
They think it could make hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue and give doctors and their patients a new option.
It’s already generating controversy in the state capital.
For many Republicans, legalizing marijuana, even only as a medical treatment, would be downright immoral and the Democrats say it’s immoral not to take care of the chronically ill.
A new Democratic bill would allow voters next November to choose to give people with a “debilitating medical condition” the right to use marijuana legealy. It would mirror California’s medical marijuana law where all it takes to buy bag of pot would be the recommendation from a doctor.
No matter how anyone stands on the question, medical marijuana could mean big money.
In California, pot farms and dispensaries have become a $2 billion a year industry, generating $100 million in taxes.
Florida could rake in millions, as well.
However, with the capitol controlled by Republicans, that may be the biggest reason the bill may not even get a hearing.
The GOP’s other argument is that marijuana is a gateway drug that can lead even medical patients down a destructive path.
They said that’s why the law can’t be loosened.
Currently, 16 states have legalized medical marijuana. But only seven allow it to be sold within their borders