Admittedly, a medical marijuana bill’s chances of being passed by the Florida Legislature this year are about as thin as a leaf of ZigZag rolling paper, but if it does pass, it will be because the most powerful lobby in the state got involved.
No, we aren’t talking about the NRA. We mean Florida’s geezers. That’s right—the same massive voting bloc that enables people to hang onto their driver’s licenses well into their eighties without having to take a visual test might just flex its mighty muscle on this one.
Contrary to what some social conservatives might think, pot is no longer just the drug of young punks, shiftless ne’er-do-wells, criminals and ex-hippies. Granny has been sneaking a toke now and then to relieve her arthritis. Cancer sufferers smoke it to reduce nausea from chemo. It’s used as a palliative by all kinds of elderly folks who are otherwise happy to get their buzz from a Manhattan or a martini, but who find that booze doesn’t cut the pain like Mary Jane.
They don’t understand why this harmless drug that makes life worth living shouldn’t be freely available to them, just like video arcades and Internet cafes. Moreover, if it’s legalized, the state can regulate the quality while eliminating the criminal element needed to provide it. Entrepreneurs can enter the field, producing strains that provide maximum relief with a minimum of headiness, if that’s what’s desired.
It’s both libertarian and free-enterprise. What could be more Republican than that?
Oh, yeah…let’s not forget the compelling argument for our Democratic lawmakers: As a legal substance, it would be taxable.