Jeb Bush just saying “No”

The people of Florida will be deciding whether or not to legalize medical marijuana this November and their former governor Jeb Bush (R) is strongly urging them to vote against it. From the Tampa Bay Times:

“Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism, and a desirable place to raise a family or retire,” [Jeb] Bush said in a statement. “Allowing large-scale marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts. I believe it is the right of states to decide this issue, and I strongly urge Floridians to vote against Amendment 2 this November.”

His position falls well outside the mainstream in Florida or nationwide. Polling from Quinnipiac found 88 percent of Florida voters support allowing medical marijuana and even 54 percent of Florida voters back legalizing marijuana for adults.

It is worth highlighting and remembering this statement because Jeb Bush has been considering a 2016 Presidential run and polling indicates he has a chance at winning the Republican nomination. If Jeb Bush were elected President he would have the power to impede, harass or even completely destroy all the medical marijuana and adult-use marijuana companies in the places where they are legal under state law.

As long as marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under federal law all the marijuana businesses around the country are at the mercy of whoever inhabits the White House.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy

Photo by Gage Skidmore under Creative Commons license