Cities And Counties Across Florida are Rightly Worried About Pot Shops

Author  Sarah Bascom

Local Cities & Counties Vote for Moratoriums & Zoning Restrictions - But Will it Matter?

Following this week’s decision by the Boynton Beach Commission to place a one-year moratorium on issuing licenses to businesses to sell medical marijuana in Boynton Beach, the Vote No on 2 Campaign today spotlighted the influx of various cities and counties across Florida who have decided to place moratoriums or zoning restrictions on future pot shops.

"We wholeheartedly agree with the Florida cities and counties that have chosen to pass a moratorium or zoning restriction on pot shops," said Sarah Bascom, spokesperson for the Vote No on 2 Campaign.  "A proliferation of pot shops in Florida is a major concern and a very real possibility under Amendment 2. The reality is, no matter how many opponents or columnists want to call this a scare tactic, they cannot provide an answer or assurances that this will not be ‘Pill Mills 2.0’ in Florida.  The truth is scary, which is why the only way to avoid these scenarios is to vote no on Amendment 2."

As reported in the News Service of Florida, a lobbyist for the Florida Medical Cannabis Association said when discussing where “Marijuana dispensaries” should be located in communities: "Why should they not be allowed to open as if they were any other drug store in the jurisdiction? They're dispensing a medicine and certainly a medicine much less dangerous than every pharmacy carries. I'm not following the logic of this."

This simple quote shows the attitude of the pot industry – they do not believe there should be regulations limiting their businesses, and like California, Florida’s cities and counties will be in for years of costly litigation with this powerful and well-heeled industry.

"While I agree with the concerns that cities and counties have about the possibility of pot shops on every corner; from a legal standpoint, their moratoriums or zoning restrictions will be attacked in lawsuits if Amendment 2 passes," said Susan Kelsey, volunteer lawyer for the Vote No on 2 Campaign and constitutional attorney with the Kelsey Appellate Law Firm.  "If Amendment 2 passes, it will have constitutional status, which will supersede state law and local moratoriums.  So while the action of cities and counties makes a statement, the only sure way to stop pot shops from popping up on every corner in Florida is to vote no on Amendment 2.”

As a point of reference, the Florida Department of Health has estimated that there would be 1,789 pot shops – more pot shops than all the Starbucks, McDonalds and Wal-Marts in Florida combined.  This is not exactly a “limited and regulated” proposition.

The Vote No on 2 Campaign is a grassroots campaign, bringing the truth about Amendment 2 to the voters of Florida.  Its coalition includes members of law enforcement, business leaders, constitutional law attorneys, doctors and other medical professionals, parents and Floridians from all walks of life. Amendment 2 is simply a guise to legalize pot smoking in Florida and the goal of this campaign is to point out the loopholes and explain why this amendment is bad for Florida.