Yesterday, the Miami Herald published an article discussing a recent poll that shows a majority of Florida voters support medical marijuana. The article specifically mentioned the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act and talked about how it could affect the gubernatorial race in 2014.
Apparently, certain folks in law enforcement didn’t like what they saw.
In a bizarre twist that some see as more than just a coincidence, Cathy Jordan, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease and for whom the bill is named, had her home raided by Manatee County sheriffs just hours after the article was published.
Deputies entered the property, claiming they had probable cause to search based on a tip and found two mature marijuana plants and 21 immature seedlings growing inside.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s office claimed deputies had no knowledge of the pending legislation, and that they have no desire to get involved in the publicity of such a discussion.
Luckily, no arrests were made, but the case is being reviewed by the state attorney’s office.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Jeff Clemens, was not amused:
Clemens said Monday he was angry about the raid on the Jordan house.
“Do we want to be the kind of state that raids the home of a woman in a wheelchair in order to enforce outdated laws?” Clemens said Monday night.
According to a recent poll conducted by Hamilton Campaigns on behalf of People United for Medical Marijuana, 70% of Florida voters support a plan to mend the state constitution to allow the medical use of marijuana.
Those are great numbers, but analysts say that this level of support could actually have an impact on the gubernatorial race in Florida if it makes the ballot in 2014!
From the Miami Herald:
“Supporters of the proposed amendment are less certain to cast ballots in the 2014 governor’s race,” David Beattie, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s pollster, wrote in an analysis of the poll of 600 registered voters taken Jan. 30-Feb. 3 by his firm, Hamilton Campaigns.
If it made the ballot, the measure would draw even more attention to Florida’s nationally watched 2014 election in which Gov. Rick Scott will fight for his political life.
“The proposal to allow the medical use of marijuana could provide a message contrast in the Governor’s race,” Beattie wrote, “heightening its effectiveness as a turnout mechanism.”
Politicians should start to take notice of the effect marijuana bills can have on elections. As popular support for marijuana reform grows, so will the electoral chances of candidates that get in front of this issue.