NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodNaples


WEIGHING IN ON WEED: Two Collier groups discuss rec marijuana on Nov. ballot

My Florida Green and Drug-Free Collier weigh in; one called the so-called Smart and Safe bill "dumb and reckless."
IS IT REALLY SMART AND SAFE? Two Collier groups shares opinion on marijuana ballot item
IS IT REALLY SMART AND SAFE? Two Collier groups shares opinion on marijuana ballot item
Posted at 10:38 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 22:40:17-04

NAPLES, Fla. — On Monday Florida's highest court made a decision that is already causing separation among Florida voters.

"I will say it was, it was troubling," said Guy Blanchette, CEO of Drug-Free Collier in response to the Supreme Court's decision.

Since medical marijuana became legal in Florida in 2016, it was not welcomed in Collier County from the start.

"We spearheaded the most conservative county in the state, and it's been an honor to be a part of it," said Nick Garulay, CEO of My Florida Green.

Fox 4's Collier County Community Correspondent Bella Line spoke with both Drug-Free Collier and My Florida Green, two large groups in Collier County on the issue, and surprisingly, both were in agreement.

"We don't have the infrastructure support, we don't have an FDA version of marijuana," said Blanchette.

"Patients deserve access before people that want to get stoned," said Garulay.

Garulay says it will not only raise taxes for Florida residents but also bring an even bigger issue to our state that is facing a Fetanyl crisis.

"It's going to drive the black market as it does with all the other states that pass recreational," said Garulay. "There's not one state that's done it correctly. What this does is it doesn't open up a free market. That's the misconception with this Smart and Safe bill which we call 'dumb and reckless' because what this bill does is really gives one dispensary a complete monopoly over the whole state of Florida and that's the one that sponsored this bill."

Blanchette says Drug-Free Collier will continue to educate our county even further on their choice.

"We are state-funded, but we'll try to do our best to educate as many people as we can," said Blanchette. "When the ballot does come up, I want those people to be fully aware of what they're choosing, because I don't think that was the case in the past."

Collier County voters and others across Florida will have the opportunity to decide in November.