Going green? State to put medicinal marijuana bill on November ballot

By: 
Jan. 29, 2014

Ormond Beach residents react to medicinal marijuana being set to appear on the elections ballot this November. 

BY EMILY BLACKWOOD | STAFF WRITER

Florida just might be going green.

The Florida Supreme Court approved on Monday a measure that will allow the use of medicinal marijuana to be placed on the ballot this November. The vote was 4-3.

Florida Rep. Dave Hood, of District 25, is in favor of the measure, telling the Ormond Beach Observer he believes the marijuana debate to be one of the biggest frauds against American citizens.

“The evidence clearly shows that marijuana is capable of relieving a huge amount of distress for all kinds of diseases,” Hood said.

Hood cited the fact that marijuana was legal in 1937 and was even taxed by the government. “If it had no therapeutic effect, why did the United States government have a tax on it?" he said. "That tells you everything you need to know.”

Hood thinks the measure has a fighting chance in November and hopes people will read up on the plant's history before making decisions.

“I believe it is a matter of education,” Hood said. “And remember, most of the stuff we’re talking about is created by nature.”

Hood made it clear he was for medicinal marijuana use, not recreational. 

Ormond Beach residents, though, were on both sides of the fence on the issue.

"Pain is unbelieveable for some people. I know because I'm in pain every day of my life. I have injuries on my neck and lower back and trust me, I hurt."

— Dorothy Mancinelli

"A lot of people with anger issues and everything, it does calm them down."

— Cody Carbbs

"It can't be legal fast enough. There is very little wrong with it and it's just nonsense to keep it illegal, particularly so criminally."

— Jay Cortright

"It is the same as prohibition in the '20s. It creates organized crime and it's racist. The people who get prosecuted are much more heavily oriented to minorities."

— Gordon Arbeitman

"I think marijuana is a gateway drug leading to worse and worse."

— Terry Edwards

"It loses mental ability, especially in the young ones. It's bad."

— Chris Vicente