Charlie Crist's Medical Marijuana Stance: Will Floridians Care About His Flip-Flopping?

charlie-crist-democrat-2.jpg
via Charlie Crist's Twitter
With the worst-kept secret in Florida politics becoming official with Charlie Crist announcing his run to be Florida's governor (again!), the questions begin. Namely, now that he's a Democrat, where does he stand on things he stood against when he was a Republican?

More to the point, where does he stand on the legalization of medical marijuana?

The legalization of medical weed in Florida will be right there with Crist v. Scott, as far as THE ISSUE EVERYBODY WILL MAKE LOUD ANGRY NOISES ABOUT in 2014.

So. Where does he stand?

See also: Is Charlie Crist Florida's Next Governor?

First of all, when he was a Republican, Crist was antiweed across the board. As governor, he signed the Florida Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act into law, one of the most stringent bills against growing weed in the entire country.

But then he ran for senator as an Independent. And lost.

Then he hugged President Obama, which to GOPers, is like hugging the secret Socialist Muslim they like to pretend that he is, and so he became a Democrat.

And now, as a Democrat, perhaps from getting some kind of liberal superpowers when he embraced Obama or perhaps because he's a politician and so he must put on his PANDER PANTS, he is suddenly for the legalization of weed.

Moreover, Crist's longtime financial backer, John Morgan, is throwing a lot of money at getting medical marijuana on the ballot in 2014.

Morgan, a personal injury attorney, took out a radio ad in September backing the legalization of medical marijuana. And he's been a major supporter of the "People United for Medical Marijuana" drive, the petition drive by United for Care to have medical pot put on the 2014 ballot.

On February 25, cops raided the home of president of the Florida Cannabis Action Network Cathy Jordan after a government employee who was visiting a neighbor spotted some marijuana plants on the Jordan property.

Turns out, Jordan is wheelchair-bound and has had Lou Gehrig's disease since 1986. She uses marijuana as treatment.

Charges were eventually dropped. But the whole thing went down thanks to Crist's original Florida law.

But now, it's pretty obvious Crist is going to openly support the legalization of medical marijuana as the Democrat in the coming race.

GOPer leaders are already looking to put the kibosh on medical marijuana even getting on the ballot.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi started the ball rolling to try to derail the initiative, saying that the wording on the petition originally sent to the Supreme Court to get a hearing was ambiguous, suggesting that there was more there than meets the eye. Basically, Bondi said that if the amendment is passed, doctors will be giving away free pot to anyone willy-nilly. House Speaker Will Weatheford, along with Senate President Don Gaetz, said they'll be filing a brief to the Supreme Court opposing the ballot initiative.

And no doubt Crist's opponents will jump all over him on his flip-flopping ways.

But will it matter?

Kevin, a Hollywood resident, says he began giving his grandfather marijuana for his glaucoma.

"It started to get extremely painful recently," Kevin tells New Times. "He's had procedures done, but they haven't relieved the pain.

"Honestly I don't trust any politician," Kevin says. "But a lot of folks have flip-flopped on the medical marijuana issue."

So would Kevin vote for Charlie and His Newfound Love for Medical Weed?

"Yeah, I'd vote for him. Because fuck Republicans, really."

In March, Florida state Sen. Jeff Clemens introduced a bill that would allow patients with certain qualifying medical conditions to privately and legally possess medical marijuana. The bill was shot down by the Legislature, but Clemens echoed the sentiment of what most Floridians are thinking.

"When a patient comes into your office and tells you all the meds that they're taking don't work, don't relieve their suffering, but marijuana does," Clemens told New Times, "it's hard to look at that person in the eye and not do something about it.

"It's about compassion."

The latest Public Policy Polling poll says that 60 percent of Floridians favor the legalization of medical marijuana.

With that many people coming around and understanding the importance and benefits of medical marijuana, does Crist's flip-flopping on this issue matter?

Probably not.


Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter





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8 comments
jimsessions88
jimsessions88

I'm 62 years old and I would vote for him. Hell, I'll volunteer  to work on his campaign. But that's not enough we need to replace enough State Representatives to insure this initiative passes. But why stop there we need to replace enough Senators and Congressmen in Washington DC to rid ourselves hardliners and change the laws on a Federal level. It should be an issue left up to states to decide without the fear of the Feds stepping in.

legalbeagle
legalbeagle

Nice article! I believe he can get elected on the cannabis legislation alone. The way the vote has been working in other states is: the AARP and retirement community is voting for marijuana legalization and the law enforcement community is voting against it. Go figure, law enforcement gets their weed for free! And consider the size of the retirement community in Florida...

Mike Roddy
Mike Roddy

Anyone but Scott! Not crazy about Crist but I'd vote for a 4 eyed she-devil from hell before I vote for Rick Scott! I may even contribute to Crist's campaign!!!

Blossom Pierce
Blossom Pierce

He has my vote. At least he flipped to the right side of the issue.

Dino MacabreEnt
Dino MacabreEnt

Who cares! He'll take the money form the lobbyist and be the same P.O.S. as all the rest. It Time for

Frank Cassell
Frank Cassell

DEAR GOVERNMENT, I found a penny on the sidewalk today, is it counted as income? do i need a 1040? or are you just gonna come by and rip it out of f-n pocket?

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