Here’s a safe bet. Lawmakers are already plotting to overturn a proposed amendment in 2020 to legalize recreational marijuana. These guys don’t take chances because Tallahassee hates it when voters think for themselves.
Remember when the people restored voting rights for felons who had done their time? Republicans decided to “clarify” the issue, and now few ex-felons can go to the polls.
Or when 75 percent of voters directed lawmakers to increase spending on land and water conservation. I believe the Republican response on that one was, “Pshaw.”
And we can’t forget the hissy fit they had about smoking voter-approved medical marijuana. Oh, my heavens! Gov. Ron DeSantis had to be the adult in the room, and all but ordered the Legislature to lift the ban on smoking.
Now, as Florida Politics reported, 67 percent of likely voters approve legalizing weed for personal use. This wasn’t some flimsy internet poll, either. The respected Fabrizio, Lee & Associates firm did the work, and it certainly will energize efforts to place a constitutional amendment about this issue on the 2020 ballot.
Powerhouse Orlando attorney John Morgan has made this a personal crusade, and he plays for keeps.
The website Regulate Florida has a great quote on its homepage from comedian Bill Murray.
He said, “I find it quite ironic that the most dangerous thing about marijuana is getting caught with it.”
Well, it’s true, but the official tsk-tsk against pot by people in power goes back a long way. In the 1960s, the establishment considered marijuana a tool of the devil. That, of course, made rebellious youths of the era — I might have been one, not confirming — curious.
That made adults and lawmakers come down harder, and the over-reaction was incredible. I mean, if you want to get high do it like a real American with scotch, vodka and bourbon. Am I right?
People received long prison terms for possessing small amounts of marijuana, and that’s absurd.
Those rebellious young folks are on Social Security now, but still don’t understand the fuss, and never will.
And, just guessing here, that scares the crap out of GOP lawmakers.
Republican state Rep. Jamie Grant led a pre-emptive strike in May with a bill that makes it harder to get constitutional amendments on the ballot. He also led the charge to make the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons harder to obtain.
The showdown between the people and lawmakers is becoming a regular thing.
It always results in legal chicanery and counter moves out of Tallahassee, and I can hear it now. Voters didn’t know what they were approving, and we must save them!
They call that madness.
Joe Henderson has had a 45-year career in newspapers. This column moved on FloridaPolitics.com.