NAPLES, Fla. — A local medical marijuana establishment is taking a stance against a proposed measure for recreational marijuana, which has reached the Florida Supreme Court.
Naples-based My Florida Green had sought for the court to hear its perspective on a move that could see non-medical marijuana use among adults legalized in the state.
However, My Florida Green's Nick Garulay says keeping medical and recreational marijuana separate is crucial.
"The medical patient doesn't belong in the same arena as the recreational. Although recreational will use it for medical purposes," said Garulay. "But it does get a little convoluted and confusing, and that's the whole reason we want to try to keep it as separate as possible."
The group submitted a brief to the court, but it was rejected due to it being past the deadline, Garulay acknowledges.
While My Florida Green said it did not have plans to pursue further legal action, Garulay emphasized they would continue to advocate for the clear distinction between medical and recreational marijuana.
"It's not fair for a recreational bill or movement to step on the heads of the people who are sick, who are debilitated, who are funding these dispensaries. Those dispensaries are taking that money to foot a bill to create a recreational movement to create a profit," Garulay says.
However, Smart & Safe, the political action group advocating for recreational marijuana, dismisses My Florida Green's concerns.
Smart & Safe spokesperson Steve Vancore asserted that "the proposed ballot initiative, if passed, would not change the current medical marijuana program."
"The brief in question has been rejected by the Florida Supreme Court as it was filed several months too late. The follow-up document sent to the court addresses issues that are not germane to the matter at hand and deals with prospective changes to medical marijuana in Florida," the statement also said.
If the court favors Smart & Safe's initiative, the matter will be presented to voters. If approved on the ballot next year, adults aged 21 and older would gain the legal right to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products for recreation.