By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
June 13, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- At the federal level, President Donald Trump has said he will likely support efforts to remove a federal prohibition on marijuana. Here in Florida, legalizing recreational marijuana is becoming a central issue in the Democratic Primary for governor.
Three of the five Democrats running for governor favor legalizing recreational marijuana.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was the first to propose the idea.
“We begin by legalizing and we take those proceeds and we invest it in paying teachers,” Gillum told us last week.
Frontrunner Phil Levine staked out his pro legalization policy in a video last week.
“All growth and distribution will be highly regulated. All sales to anyone under 21 will be banned,” said Levine.
Orlando Businessman Chris King is also on board.
“If you are black, you are six times more likely to be arrested for the use of marijuana than if you are white,” said King.
Gwen Graham has stopped short of full legalization. She would decriminalize its use.
“Anytime there is an opportunity to alleviate pain, I’m a mom, I want to do that,” Graham said during the Democratic debate Saturday night.
Billionaire Jeff Greene, who got in the race last week and says he’ll spend whatever it takes to sit in this office, has yet to weigh in on pot.
On the GOP side, frontrunner Adam Putnam wants to fully implement medical pot, but draws the line at legalization.
“I do not support recreational, the legalization of recreational marijuana in Florida,” said Putnam. "I don’t think its a good idea as a dad. I don’t think its a good idea as an employer, I don’t think it’s the right thing for Florida.”
Whether for or against legalization, pot is going to be a topic of the coming election.
We did reach out to GOP gubernatorial candidate Congressman Ron DeSantis, asking for his position on legalization.
We have not yet heard back, but DeSantis is supported by President Trump, who last Friday said he would likely not oppose ending the federal ban on marijuana.