Tampa Bay Cities Attempt To Ban Medical Marijuana
Medical Marijuana, also known as Amendment 2, was passed by Florida voters with flying colors in a 71 percent approval. Now some Tampa Bay area cities are trying to ban the substance.
The City of Zephyrhills is one of those cities. it recently unanimously passed an ordinance to temporarily ban dispensaries from opening for up to 365 days.
“It’s still a federal offense to sell it. We need to be able to decide do we want it in a (commercial) zone. Do we want it next to a church, next to a daycare?” City Manager Steve Spina explained to WFLA.
At the same time Hillsborough County officials approved a six-month ban that prevents new dispensaries from opening.
“We’re just trying to be in front of it before someone comes in and we can’t undo a placement of something,” Spina said in an interview with WFLA.
But those aren’t the only two city and county officials to try and do something about the approved Amendment. Pasco County, Manatee County and the Bradenton City Council have also been tossing around the idea of temporary bans. None of those entities have been approved in those areas yet though.
Advocates such as Chris Cano, executive director of Central Florida NORML, says it is a safety issue.
“Why does an Alzheimer’s patient have to get home delivery or drive three cities to get access to a life-saving medication that they need?” Cano questioned to WFLA. “You have these last few elements fighting back to try and hold onto power, and it’s just a failed fight.”
A legal analyst from News Channel 8 said the bans are nonsense saying, “They’re basically just trying to say that they’re figuring stuff out when this is something that’ll be figured out on the state level, not the local level,” Felix Vega III, a prosecutor and analyst, said.