Why is a pro pot lawyer advocating a denial of access to medical marijuana?

marijuana florida 2 (Large)

If you are part of the NORML crowd, you probably know Mike Minardi.

He is kind of a thing in the world of weed and, frankly, being a pro-marijuana attorney has become his calling card.

Minardi is on the board, listed as “Legal Director,” of NORML of Florida. He is part of CannaMoms and the words “cannabis” and “marijuana” are ALL OVER his firm website.

Heck, the site is even colored green.

So, what’s the deal with Minardi now?

Last week he was speaking at the Florida Cannabis Coalition Green Carpet event in Sarasota (see, I told you he is a big deal) and Mike — the pro-pot, pro-legalization lawyer who is even pushing a constitutional amendment to make the stuff 100 percent legal — is now advocating that we stop the sale of medical marijuana in Florida.

Crazy, right?  His exact words were: “I do support moratoriums. Um … moratoriums are good for us right now …”

Say what?  Right NOW? Is there some business advantage you see in stopping the sale of medical cannabis?

His logic, if you can call it that, appears to be that by stopping access to medical marijuana now that somehow it will give him and his unnamed but repeatedly mentioned “clients” some unspecified advantage later.

What about the people he supposedly wants to help have access to marijuana? Why stop them from having access?

I don’t understand where he is coming from.

Here is more from Minardi:

“ … we can be able to go in there and have an equal opportunity to these nurseries that can open up as many dispensaries as they want throughout the state right now, in order to have that equal access, because they’re not going into areas where there are moratoriums right now and opening places up …”

OK, I still don’t really understand, but those are his exact words; I wouldn’t want anyone to think I took him out of context.

Are his clients the other license applicants who did not make the cut? (Shame on him.)

Are they people who don’t qualify under Amendment 2? (Way to sell out sick patients who sure could use a break.)

Does it matter?

It is blatantly disingenuous (IMHO) for someone who hails himself — often and loudly — as a pro-marijuana advocate to publicly support shutting down access to patients who desperately need access to medical marijuana.

But it gets worse.

This is the same Minardi who went on ABC Action News in Tampa and blamed the board of medicine for — I swear he said this — “continuing to prevent access for patients in Florida who are suffering and dying.”

It’s kind of like those evil doctors support a moratorium or something.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


  • Michael Minardi

    March 2, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Things can always be taken out of context and this is only part of what was said. To put it in context this is the reasoning behind the comments above, Patients are complaining regularly to me about the current system. The current system does not provide for independent testing, reasonable prices, or access to a variety of products. An open market will result in better options for the patients, better pricing, and better quality products. This is what the people of Florida said during the DOH hearings and voted on and expected in passing Amendment 2. Not a market controlled by few that set prices a vast majority of Patients cannot afford and do not have surety from an independent lab test on the quality of products. There is currently statewide delivery and access for Patients. For many Patients the current system provides no access because they do not have the products needed that the Patients know work for them. Until this market is opened, up many if not most, patients will continue to turn to the black market for the products they want and know are effective.

  • Candice Marschke

    March 4, 2017 at 10:38 am

    As the Founder of Women Grow South Florida and a Bhang Travel I have had Michael speak at our events on more than two occasions and I was at the FCC Green Carpet event in Sarasota and heard MM’s remarks. The context of MM remarks were within the framework of the existing laws and the legislatures apparent desire to structure the Amendment 2 on top of the existing CBD only laws. MM has always been consistent in his views about the implementation of #2 and that thorough and thoughtful consideration must be taken into account regarding how the legislature moves forward. It is ridiculous to suggest MM was advocating anything but the highest standards for cultivation and process while having a free, open and INCLUSIVE market for Floridians.

    I encourage you to take the time to investigate how the current rules are leaving the majorities of Floridians out of this industry as consumers and business owners. The Governor and his cronies have established a system them leaves the majority of Floridians behind and minorities on the sidelines in an industry that they will be majority consumers in.

    If you were not an existing nursery for the last 30 years and had 5M laying around you were not even considered for a license only 30 qualified if I remember correctly. Nowhere in the qualifications did the nurseries have to have had a background in growing plants for medicinal purposes or even for consumption. In fact, none of the original growers had ever grown plants for consumption by human beings. Based on this history and the way the system was setup for “Charlotte’s Webb Law”, and the upcoming session of the Florida Legislature I believe that MM was advocating for not allowing the 7 BIG FLORIDA CANNABIS companies to open up more dispensaries and allowing the people to continue to petition their law makers to form the market for a broader more inclusive licensing process. In light of current events where a cancer patient in CA died from ingesting cannabis contaminated with fungus it is imperative that TESTING be addressed in Florida and that “safe for human consumption” is defined with greater specificity. There are many issues facing Florida and what many are calling one of the top three markets in the Industry, it serves the people of Florida to educate them with the knowledge that will enable patients to receive affordable clean medicine in an open and inclusive market.
    I have only heard Michael advocate for patients and inclusion in the many years I have known him. To not acknowledge MM’s support for patients as an attorney, his authorship of the ballot measure with Regulate Florida, and his work with Women and Minorities is a sad attempt of slight of hand.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Daniel Figueroa, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Mike Wright, and Tristan Wood.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn