Marijuana is now in the people’s hands

Reporter: Olivia Jean
Published: Updated:

The Florida Supreme Court has given the power to the people.

So far, recreational marijuana is legal in 24 states. Florida may be the next one. Right now, only medical marijuana is legal in the state.

WINK News was curious about your take on legalizing recreational marijuana.

On Tuesday morning, we put a poll on X. Go ahead and place your vote to see where you stand with fellow Floridians.

If the vote is over 60% yes in November, anyone will be able to buy the drug, probably dependent only on age.

WINK News talked with Florida Gulf Coast University Professor of Neuroscience and Physiology Martha Rosenthal. She has studied drugs for over 30 years.

She describes some of the benefits of marijuana. “It can improve appetite and decrease nausea, vomiting, cancer and aids patients,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal said it is safer than alcohol; however, there are also risks, she noted.

“The levels of THC are getting higher and higher, and that is more risky,” Rosenthal said.

Ellen Snelling almost lost her daughter to drugs.

“It’s a lifelong struggle, and it all started with marijuana,” Snelling said.

CREDIT: Ellen Snelling. Snelling and her daughter.

She is a longtime member of a drug prevention coalition, and she will not vote in favor of recreational marijuana in November.

“I feel like there’s another side to marijuana legalization that a lot of people may not be thinking about. They’re thinking about all the positive benefits and that you won’t be arrested for having a joint,” Snelling said.

Kim Rivers, the CEO of Trulieve, Florida’s largest and first medical marijuana operator, told WINK this is a great thing if passed.

“I think Florida is very much ready for this,” Rivers said, “and again, it’s about creating a safe, regulated market, and that, you know, is with products that have been quality tested, grown here in Florida.”

People say legalization means it will be regulated, which is why some say out of all of the drug overdoses last year, zero of them were from cannabis.

“One thing to consider is it will be safer because it will be controlled,” Rosenthal said.

According to a Pew Research study, only 10% of Americans don’t support legalizing marijuana.

“The marijuana industry is absolutely growing, and it’s growing within the state of Florida, and it’s growing nationally,” Rivers said.

“I think we just have to have the total picture of what could happen in our state, and people need to be educated on that before they go to the polls,” Snelling said.

WINK News reached out to the sheriff’s office to see how this change may impact law enforcement. They said, “The Lee County Sheriff’s Office recognizes that laws and regulations are continually changing. Any adjustments or updates are added to the continual training deputies receive and implemented as needed.”

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