The summer of 2019 has been a super busy summer for the marijuana movement. Acceptance of the medicinal and recreational plant has grown leaps and bounds, so many laws have been passed fighting for legalization, and even a few against legalization. But nothing can deter the activist who know they are fighting for what’s right.
This past July 1, Florida legalized hemp — the part of the cannabis plant that isn’t psychoactive and can be used to make rope, paper, all sorts of food, and CBD oil. But the new law is also leading to a less expected but highly beneficial consequence: It’s changing the way cops conduct drug enforcement. The Orlando Sentinel reported that multiple sheriff’s departments in Central Florida are instructing cops not to detain people for “marijuana odor” alone anymore, because both hemp and regular pot smell the same. Now, the Miami-Dade Police Department — the largest force in Florida — has confirmed to New Times its cops are being instructed to do the same. As they cannot differentiate between hemp and cannabis on odor alone they must see paraphernalia or see that your are clearly under the influence and impaired.
Cannabis supporters trying to get recreational marijuana on the 2020 ballot wont be stopped by passage of Florida House Bill 5, the latest Republican attempt to subvert the people’s will. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on June 7. The measure took effect immediately. It complicates the citizen initiative process, which allowed Floridians to legalize medical marijuana and restore voting rights to felons in 2016. Republican legislators would likely have rejected those proposals even though more than 60 percent of voters approved both. Regulate Florida is petitioning to make marijuana legally accessible to anybody age 21 and over — and regulated like alcohol. The group has gathered more than 70,000 signatures, almost enough for judicial review through the Florida Supreme Court, a required step before reaching the 766,200 signatures required to place the initiative on the ballot.
As we get closer to the end of summer we at nature coast cannabis enterprises are excited to see what the future holds. We plan to continue our journey in the support of marijuana legalization and the unending benefits marijuana presents to this world.