I Spoke With Florida Gov. Rick Scott About Marijuana

Feb 29, 2012 , , , , , ,

I just returned to D.C. from a conference in Palm Beach, where I briefly spoke with Gov. Rick Scott (R) about medical marijuana.

When I told him I was representing the Marijuana Policy Project, he responded by saying that he had received only one communication about medical marijuana during these first 14 months of his governorship. (It’s likely that he meant to say that he had spoken with only one constituent personally, as opposed to having received only one email message or one phone call from Florida constituents.)

In any case, his comment struck me as odd, because Floridians have consistently been more active via MPP’s website than MPP’s supporters in literally any other state. This has impressed me, because Florida is only the fourth most populous state, and Florida usually has almost no marijuana-related legislative activity in Tallahassee. So you’d think that Californians or New Yorkers would be more active than Floridians, but this hasn’t been the case.

I have no reason to believe that Gov. Scott was trying to fib, because there was no particular advantage or disadvantage to his taking a position on medical marijuana. Indeed, he wasn’t even taking a position on the issue.

But I’d like to view my conversation with the governor as a challenge to anyone in Florida who hasn’t already called or emailed Gov. Scott to say they’d like him to support medical marijuana legislation in Tallahassee. So, if you haven’t already done so, would you please call or email him?

If you live in Florida, you have a greater ability to influence his thinking than I do. And – if you do contact his office – please be polite, because I have the impression that he’s open-minded on our issue, at least in the long run.

37 responses to “I Spoke With Florida Gov. Rick Scott About Marijuana”

  1. I’m positive you have Rob, but it’s not clear Gov. Scott has, heard of or spoken with Irv Rosenfeld. One of the four remaining FEDERAL mmj patients who smokes around 10-12 joints per day; and he’s a stock broker to boot! I.e. lots of people trust him with their money.


    Irv lives in FL and Gov. Scott could visit him at work (or vice versa)! Even when Irv takes a break to smoke pot!

  2. Living in Florida, the most Cannabis-unfriendly place on earth, and having contacted the Governor’s office, no less than Six times- my direct observation and opinion is that he is not only aware, of this Medical Cannabis issue, but also has a position. That position is to pretend “nobody told me about it”. The political equivalent of..”The Dog ate my homework”

    Having used templates and composing my own factual, brief and polite letters via email, the responses I receive back are all the same. To paraphrase one email, “The Governors office is concerned with those issues which affect the people of Florida and appreciates your bringing this issue to our attention.”…You decide.
    Kathy Day, of FL-Can, the Florida Cannabis Network ,took many signed petitions, directly, to the Tallahassee in order to hand them to the Governor. The issue at hand; that “We The People” want to be “allowed” to vote on this issue.
    (I can hardly believe I just wrote that)
    People like Robert Platshorn, is another who has renewed my faith in mankind. Currently on “The Silver Tour” he is traveling around Florida and elsewhere to educate Senior Citizens about the myriad medical benefits of Cannabis. And the results of his efforts are nothing-short of amazing.

    The single-biggest money-making, job security issue for the DEA is Cannabis. Without its “War”-there would be no DEA.

    Couple their influence-(i.e) The Ogden, and Cole Memo’s, -with their storied history of “acknowledging and removing Human Rights and Civil liberties for Ninety years” and you have our administrations REAL agenda for Cannabis.
    US PATENT 6,630,507 was issued to OUR government in 2003. “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants”. And while you’re searching that, look into Kannalife Sciences of Bayville, N.Y-who got a government con tract to make medications from this patent’s outline…Someone should tell them that is ILLEGAL..

    The prohibitionists have always been more well-funded than the rest of us. Joe Camel, Oxycontin and Budweiser want you to “Just say no” to Cannabis, and “Yes” to their drugs. Disgusting.

    Personally I must move, to an MMJ state,to save my own life.
    If I continue taking these toxic chemicals to control my suicide-level chronic pain, I will soon die-NO thanks to the nice folks who “haven’t heard of this is their first Fourteen months as Governor”

    Simply put no one has done a fiscal feasibility study of the economic impact of the legalization of physician controlled access to Cannabis in Florida. If this were done, the Governor “may” consider this issue beyond refusing to hear about it…Let us not forget that “We The People” of this state have Twice submitted more than adequate volumes of signatures to get this issue “heard” in the House and Senate.(Most recently Co-Sponsored by Jeff Clemens and Letitia Bullard.)
    Twice, the “resolution to discuss the resolution” was denied to be heard…I take that “as” their position.

    If allowed, I and Tens of Thousands of others could substitute/replace Cannabis for much of the medication we take. Given that 2 of 4 of mine are pain medicines-one would think that a state that accounts for 85% for the Nation’s Oxycodone use, would want a safer alternative for their citizens and to to “fix” the problem of Prescription overuse and abuse-not just talk about it.
    According to state statistics; 7 people a day die from Prescription drug abuse.
    If that were true, using a substance far safer than Tylenol® would be a shoe-in for the next, big discovery in healthcare to “benefit the world”. A nice thought; but Governor Scott is struggling for a seriously low approval rating and a state in financial ruins whose real unemployment rate is, about 25-35%-not the 12% advertised

    Unless this issue is approached, in a way that only MPP (and Jeffrey Miron) could do-“We The People” in Florida will continue to be arrested, our doors broken down by the Tank-Driving, Jack-Booted Thugs of the Sheriffs and DEA, but it will be “safe”
    The fact that it would generously help our state’s “Tourism-dependent” economy, not to mention the Tens of Thousands of jobs it would create-add to that the scores of patients whose lives it would save- and that’s simply not enough.
    Just because, almost 65+% of adults in Florida support medical access to Cannabis-is no reason to give it to them. The, soon-to-be privatized prisons here are just-a-waitin to be filled. And guess by whom? You got it. Young, mostly Hispanic or Black Men.Don’t worry, they’ll come for the rest of you, too.

    The Public education on this issue is sorely needed.
    That’s why I support groups like MPP who help to write the laws that enable medical access to Cannabis.
    Hey guys, do you have a “spare bill” sittin’ around the office their, do you? We could certainly use it here.

    • Paradoc, MPP spearheads ballot initiatives and lobbying campaigns on a state-by-state basis based on the amount of support in that state and how likely it is that it will be successful. This means that even though we are not actively targeting Florida right now, that does not mean we will not in the future if the time is right. Believe me, we want to help reform marijuana laws in every state — if only we had unlimited resources!

  3. Sorry to post again, but to underscore the “real” issue-I just received THIS response from SENATOR Bill Nelson..

    “Thank you for contacting me regarding medical marijuana legislation (HJR 353/SJR 1028) in Florida. I understand your concern. However, this is primarily a Florida State issue and cannot be fully addressed at the Federal level. I encourage you to contact your State senators and representatives to voice your concerns.

    Your Florida public servants will be directly involved in making the crucial decisions that will determine the outcome of this issue. Please call the Florida State Capitol at (850) 488-1234 for information regarding your state representative and senator so that they can give you a proper response. You may also wish to contact Governor Rick Scott by calling (850) 488-7146 or writing him at Office of Governor Rick Scott, State of Florida, The Capitol, 400 Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Fl 32399-0001. On the Internet, http://www.myflorida.com provides access to a number of government agencies that could also be of assistance.

    Bill Nelson

    O.K…so whom do we ask?..

  4. I lived in Florida for over 30 years and I left in 2005 for California. That was the best decision I had made in 30 years. Returning to California after 30 years in Florida caused me to feel as though I had returned to the United States after living in a third world country. It felt remarkable to be back in America! California has it’s problems, but getting arrested for Marijuana is not one of them. Florida is owned and operated by some EXTREMELY small-minded individuals. Getting Medical Marijuana just to the point where leaders will even address the issue will be like trying to push away the darkness of night and pull in the bright light of sunshine to replace that darkness. All I can say to the freedom loving folks of Florida is…Good Luck and may God have mercy on your collective souls. The down trodden people of Florida will soon realize that trying to establish ‘Freedom of Choice’ in the poor state of Florida, may call for as big an effort as was pursued in our separation from the Motherland of England.

  5. I would assume the comments herein put this issue to bed?Florida,like many southern states is pro prohibition and will pretend the issue has never crossed their desk no matter how many e mails they ignore.That’s not to say you shouldn’t continue to send e mails.I send them all the time and I have to work through Stephen Harper,who everyone knows is the most anti cannabis politician in the world.Including VP Biden.We just have to continue to be polite and take the high ground.Sooner or later people will notice who the ignorant side is in the issue.

  6. To all those in florida. VOTE out every sitting elected official and you to will start to see cannabis reform.

  7. http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2012/03/03/vp_biden_goes_to_latin_american_amid_drug_debate/?page=2
    “For decades Latin Americans leaders and the U.S. have cooperated on a war on drugs, with more than a TRILLION dollars spent by the U.S. to support enforcement and eradication in Latin America, as well as promises to reduce cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine use in the U.S. that generates an estimated $25 billion in profits each year.

    But during that time, demand for drugs has increased, fueling violent competition between dealers.”

    Well it seems America is funding the world’s reefer madness. I could see this being a major factor of why it is still illegal…

    Not a few million
    not a few hundred mullion
    Just in Latin America alone the US spent more than $1,000,000,000,000 for “support” folks!!! Good Lord!
    This is truly a WTF statement. Wiki could use this as an example of the slang meaning.

    I would love to see a list of the amount and places we send money in support of “the drug war”. Do we get funding from other countries for “the drug war” in the U.S.??? What a friggn mess.

    Now you Know. Pass this info along please.

  8. Silver Tour news! Our last show is being edited to a hard hitting 1/2 hour show for TV. I am negotiating to air it 100 times on stations and cable networks across Florida. So far we have funds for 25 airings and editing. Need $1000 for lab work and $15,000 more for airtime. This can make med mj a reality in Fl. Contribute at http://www.thesilvertour.org or contact me about being a sponsor.

  9. I honestly can’t believe you were this gullible. Of course you believed him. This is one of Rick Scott’s most practiced lines. Haven’t you seen his deposition about the Medicare fraud?


    I just can’t believe you were gullible enough to be in the business of politics and actually believe this nonsense.


  10. seriously you should quite working for the MPP and go work for the SEC. I’m sure they could use somebody with your trusting demeanor.

  11. I appreciate everything the mpp does. (and other organizations like norml too!) it doesn’t matter if it gets immediate results, if u talked to him, then that’s one more person that he’s heard from. Enough of us will eventually get the point across or vote for someone else

  12. Rick Scott has a urine fetish, He will be NO help to us. He needs to go.
    Continuing to contact his office is the right thing to do.
    Now he is just proving, that he is ignoring us.
    Keep trying, I am.

  13. All the states that already have medical marijuana need to sue their state officials to stand up to the feds and tell them they have to remove marijuana from schedule I because it does have medical use. Once that happens the Florida attorney general and governor can be forced to move.

  14. Rick Scott is just a plain liar! I know, I alone have sent at least 3 emails to his office on the topic of medical marijuana since he’s been in office!

  15. Having lived on the south west coast of Florida for over 30 years and having been arrested several times for minimum amounts of weed and spent time in jail for that weed I know from experience that Law enforcement and politicans are ignorate of the benifits of marijuana by choice. Major contributers to the politicans and law enforcement will not make any money if pot is decrimalized or made legal and that just won’t be allowed to happen. When drug treatment facilities are planned to be constructed they will be drowned out by local politicans saying that there is no drug problems here and law enforcement saying that it will attract crime. Unless you are a finacially secure retiree you have no say of voice in Florida politics. The govener and his bunch are liars I have personally contacted and e-mailed thier offices regarding decriminalzation over 10 times in 14 months. As much as I hate to admit it but it will be a very long time before this matter is taken seriously by Florida politicians and law enforcement. Maybe my great grand kids will be able to live free here.

  16. I’m in Oklahoma and trying to wake to the governor and congress. I’ve come to the conclusion that if they strongly oppose, the best way is to get a strong opponent to run against them. We need to just vote them out until there’s enough to make the change. Perhaps if Colorado succeeds, everyone will see how much better off everyone is, and there will be a lot more money to do what is needed, in black and white.
    I’ve mailed out 167 letters to those in congress, three went to governor Fallin, but never a response. Out of 167 actual hand written letters, only three have responded to me. There is your percentage of how many just get tossed in the trash, and it’s likely the same nationwide.
    I guess one day some of them may actually get cancer or perhaps spine surgery, and then it can proven to them.

    Perhaps Ron Paul will go ahead and run as an independent until enough changes are made and not just pomised.

  17. I live in Florida. I don’t trust Rick Scott. Other people here feel the same way. I’m afraid to give him my name or anything personal. He’ll put me on a list and I’ll get arrested. Because I have lupus and I smoke to ease the pain instead of taking medications. Pain medications, etc. are now reported to the police department every time you fill them and they have the right to invade your house and count your pills to see if you’re selling them. This kind of mentality will not let Medical marijuana in until he’s gone and a more open minded person is in. Hell, his attempt to drug test everyone in Florida who applies for assistance has backfired on him costing the state more money. And supplying his “wife'” company with income.

  18. I am a director in the Florida Cannabis Action Network. Our next big push is to establish a “fame em or shame em” database which will rate every state politician with there position on prohibition and medical marijuana. Stay tuned and help us assemble your inputs on your local state representatives and senators. Come November let’s make a significant impact at the voting booths.

  19. I’m sixty now and though born and raised in Florida, I have been in Georgia, for about 37 years. I’m sick now and after a major tractor trailer rollover on my head(Iwas in the bunk)skidding down I-20 in La. My nerves are shot out, hurt all the time, then had to have a 3waybypass. My lungs got infection, finally got over that some, but remain addicted to cigarettes, I am not addicted to my pain killers but life without them would be horrible..If I could just smoke some weed, I do I could cut way back on the cigarettes, my depression would be lifted and the quality of my life would greatly improve. If the government realized they could make alot of money on it and create more jobs at the same time, you would think they would allow we the people to change the law. Hell the whole world would be a better place for it. For the people, of the people and by the people. I just pray I live long enough to see this long overdo change happen.

  20. Gov. Scott seems like a realistic individual. I’m sure he can see the business benefits of legalization. It appears that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, however, among Republicans, there are those who are frightened by visions of “immorality” and/or wild drug use. On the bright side, polls suggest that the outlook for legalization is excellent in Florida. People who are interested in making that happen will want to call, or write, their Florida Representatives, (and Gov. Scott). At every election, politicians are in fear of losing their jobs, and although attitudes are changing, legalization is still a sensitive subject with some people. Politicians are not going to ‘go out on a limb’, unless they feel they have public support.

  21. Of course he expresses interest in this. His brother-in law, or some close relative owns 1/5 licenses to grow in Florida. This is an exact situation of where the rich become richer while the poor man was never given a chance. Read beyond the print people. THINK ON YOUR OWN FOR ONCE. SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE. I know COMMON SENSE IS NOT COMMON anymore, but pull your head out of your ass for once. Scott knows what he is doing. You think he cares about the people? HELL NO, he only cares that him and his family are taken care of. And yes you can say that any man living would act the same way, and I agree; BUT WHEN YOU ARE A POLITICIAN you take an oath and an agreement to serve FOR THE PEOPLE. Where has this practice gone to? Nothing is for the people anymore. Everything is about money, and like I said if you are poor, get used to it. Nothing will ever change. No matter what you think you can do, or try, you will never get ahead. And this is exactly what America wants. The majority of us are modern day slaves living paycheck to paycheck busting our ass, and we get nowhere, yet we pay taxes to pieces of shit who claim disability for “anxiety issues,” and collect a check every month. Face it people, America is F’ed up. Let God rain hell on all these CROOKED politicians and bring down the apocalypse. Kill off the weak and only the strong survive. Force us back to the life where we dealt with real priorities like FOOD, WATER, LIFE, DEATH, SHELTER. Not facebook, and the KArdashians, and what’s happening next on the Game of Thrones. Who gives a shit about that. Get your priorities straight America. We are sitting here arguing about transgender bathrooms. And I’m saying to myself, “this is an actual issue?”

  22. I am retired . I am 67 I am permantlly disabled from work because our new governor wanted evrey one who made good money got to go. Luckily I was well respected an told by my superiors they were getting ready to screw me. I a, gratefull that. Fl. Is payed off political state. The drug co. Run this state. People will still be taking pills hopefully less. That is my goal less pain less anger an calmed down a lot.. I hope I seee it I have ptsd from the marine corp in 1969 I was a machine gunner. Rich offline.

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