Vote No on 2 web ad warns of ‘budtenders,’ urges voters to reject medicinal pot

budtenders vote no on 2

The campaign to convince voters to reject Amendment 2, the medical marijuana measure on November’s general election ballot, released the fourth in a series of online video advertisements Monday.

In announcing the ad, Vote No on 2, the campaign sponsored by Drug-Free Florida Committee, said the ad is “setting the record straight on what Amendment 2 really means for Floridians.”

Titled “Budtender,” the ad says dispensers of medical marijuana in Florida would have no medical education or training of any kind.

“This revelation continues to show that the authors of Amendment 2 didn’t close the loopholes or tighten the language of this dangerous constitutional amendment,” the announcement says.

Marijuana as medicine is a hoax, said Vote No on 2 campaign spokeswoman Christina Johnson.

“The suggestion that Amendment 2 is about medicine is a false and dangerous one,” she stated in a statement released Monday. “This amendment replaces pharmacists with unlicensed amateurs whose knowledge of pot is typically limited to their personal experience. Budtenders have no clinical experience, no medical training, and no business dispensing Class A drugs. What’s the difference between a drug dealer and a budtender? Nothing.”

Three online videos, “Search,” “Three Things,” and “5,000” were posted by the Vote No on 2 Campaign in recent weeks. The videos examine California’s experiment with medical marijuana, highlighting a significant number of pot dispensaries, the vast varieties of pot sold and the ease with which it is obtained. One advertisement says Amendment 2 could result in more pot shops in Florida than McDonalds, 7-Elevens and Starbucks combined. Supporters of Amendment 2 say the ads are misleading, and the “Budtenders” installment contains false information.

Medical marijuana will be available soon to eligible patients in Florida, as grow houses, processing and dispensaries currently are being set up around the state. The constitutional amendment being voted on in November would expand the use of medical marijuana to a wider variety of patients and allow the sale of a stronger grade of pot.

“Budtenders” is also available on YouTube.


Keith Morelli

With a 38-year career in journalism behind him, Keith Morelli now writes about medical marijuana and the politics of pot in Florida. He began his career as a news editor with a weekly paper in Zephyrhills and his last gig was with The Tampa Tribune, which folded unceremoniously in May. While there, Morelli was general assignment reporter for the Metro section, writing a wide variety of pieces ranging from obituaries, to crime, to red tide, panthers and city government. In between those jobs, he spent nine years as a bureau chief for the Ocala Star-Banner.


  • Bill Monroe

    June 27, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Medical dispensaries are required to have a medical director. Doctors seeing patients “order” the cannabis product. The patient drives to the dispensary and picks up what the doctor ordered. Why would a Budtender require specialized training when doctors have made their diagnosis and placed the order.

  • joe Sisco

    June 29, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Who would you rather have dispensing your medication,a CVS employee who knows nothing about Medical Marijuana and cant even get your regular prescriptions correct or a person that knows all strains and effects of the cannabis plant?

  • Ken Barber

    June 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    It’s amusing to observe the marketing released by the opposition to Amendment 2. I resided in Colorado during the time leading up to and beyond the legalization of Medical Marijuana followed by Recreational. Clearly the content is not accurate and someone like myself, 67 and have had a long relationship with cannabis, would immediately dismiss as such.

    I think of the tens of thousands of people cannabis therapy could help. Being afflicted with a specific condition that is authorized by a small group of folks, should not prevent them from acquiring and using.

    It’s no secret, even with the limited research conducted, that cannabis and the by products helps people with just about everything.

    I’m puzzled how people that are involved in the creation of this campaign can send these messages with good conscience. The latest ad referring to an untrained individual serving as a Budtender makes me smile. To select that topic to attack seems like a waste of ad money.

    Talk to Colorado. The Budtender thing was never an issue. With new industries come new positions and people that are excited to have new career opportunities. Many do have extensive experience, just not from a legal perspective. Now their passion is becoming legal.

    Trust me Folks. If Amendment 2 passes in Florida this November, everything is going to be just fine. The Governor of Colorado was opposed in the early days but do some research on how he thinks now. We are fortunate to have this opportunity to at least begin the journey of safe and legal cannabis.

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