What’s Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Real Issue With Cannabis?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has doubled down on his opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana, citing concerns over potential impacts on businesses and communities. His comments come as the state Supreme Court weighs whether to allow a cannabis legalization measure to appear on November’s ballot.

His problem? It’s the “smell.”

At a press conference on Friday, DeSantis expressed worry that legal marijuana could lead to excessive odors permeating shops, hotels, and public spaces. 

“I’ve gone to some of these cities that have had this everywhere, it smells, there’s all these things,” he told reporters. The governor claimed the proposed ballot measure would prevent officials from adequately regulating where and when marijuana businesses can operate, though initiative backers deny this.

“I don’t want to be able to go walk in front of shops and have this, I don’t want every hotel to really smell,” DeSantis said. “If you’re saying you can’t regulate it or you can’t limit it — which, that’s how I read that — that could be a big, big problem.”

Despite his opposition, the former GOP presidential candidate predicted the state Supreme Court will ultimately allow the legalization question on the November ballot.

“I think the court is going to approve that, so it’ll be on the ballot,” he said at a January campaign event.

The court is currently reviewing a legal challenge to the prospective ballot measure filed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, who has asked justices to invalidate it. Activists collected nearly one million signatures to qualify it for the ballot.

DeSantis described the legalization proposal as “the broadest language I think I’ve ever seen,” alleging it would prevent any regulation or penalties related to marijuana. However, the Smart & Safe Florida campaign behind the initiative says it grants lawmakers authority to restrict public cannabis consumption similar to tobacco smoking rules.


Information for this story was found via Marijuana Moment, MSN, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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