Bill Nelson a hard no on adult use cannabis legalization

Bill Nelson (2)

Cannabis legalization is approaching consensus in the Democratic field for Florida governor, but U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is maintaining a ‘Just say no’ policy.

Speaking to media in Jacksonville on Friday, Nelson was asked if he aligned with the growing consensus among the Democratic candidates for liberalization of cannabis laws, including decriminalization, legalization, and removing the plant from Schedule 1.

“That’s a fancy way that you’ve asked me ‘Do I agree with recreational marijuana’, and the answer is no,” Nelson said, breaking from hisa usual pattern of essayist expositions when answering questions.

Nelson, unprompted, broached the subject of medical marijuana by way of tweaking Gov. Rick Scott.

“This question of him trying to torpedo the constitutional amendment for medical marijuana prescribed by a doctor,” nettled Nelson, who has been messaging statewide on this issue, including advocacy of smokable medical cannabis in Tampa Thursday.

Nelson’s paradox: his measured support of medical cannabis is out of step with a more liberal approach among other Democrats with statewide profiles. While he may score points against the Scott position, his opposition to rescheduling cannabis won’t excite many activists.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Nelson vs. Morgan

    June 1, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    This is the smartest thing Mr. Nelson has ever said. He now has to go just one step further and recognize publicly that clowns like John Morgan who advocate for “medical uses” of the drug have only themselves in mind. Decriminalizing possession of small amounts of it for personal use is one thing, but a pseudo-lawyer like Morgan grandstanding and attempting to appear as a hero is something very different. In reality, Morgan is only getting free publicity for the fishnet (excuse me, the law firm), that bears his name.

  • Ray Roberts

    June 1, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    He is apparently deliberately trying to lose this election.

    • Malcolm Kyle

      June 2, 2018 at 5:41 am

      Exactly, an overwhelming majority of Democratic voters support total legalization. It’s time to take a closer look at his ties to organized criminals.

      • John S.

        June 5, 2018 at 8:53 am

        Here in the panhandle, I believe a majority of Republicans and Independents also support legalization and/or decriminalization.

  • PoliticiansSuk

    June 3, 2018 at 10:11 am

    He’s a fossil…… a career politician. He apparently has forgotten that his job is to enact the will of the people, NOT the will of the corporate donors.

    He’s on the wrong side of history, but he’s the lesser of two evils – since Gov Scott has D E L I B E R A T E L Y hamstrung the states’ MMJ program.

  • Anonymous

    June 8, 2018 at 2:20 am

    The $100 (+passport photo cost) annual MMJ registration just to be able to get the medicine is excessively prohibitive for patients on social security, disability, low income, etc. And may be an unlawful fee to exercise a constitutional right. The DOH has refused to provide any hardship relief mandated by F.S. 120.542 (7), failing to comply with the law by establishing any consistent measure of eligibility. Other states apply a simple yes/no standard, if (yes) you are on social security disability you get a hardship relief reduction.
    Then there is increased cost of medicine involving chemical processing to extract oils and adding various compounds not contained in MJ, such as vegetable oils and medium chain triglycerides.

    Finally, there is the loss of constitutional civil rights. Because it is federally illegal, if you obtain MMJ registration you can no longer buy a firearm. Hawaii, with its gun licensing, sent notices to licensed gun owners who obtained MMJ registration, that they had 30 days to surrender arms or face prosecution. Unable to buy, possess, sell, give away, or transfer their firearms, they could only surrender them to authorities. To get them back would require abandoning the MMJ, forfeit registration, and obtain medical certification they no longer used MMJ. Or forever forfeit their second amendment rights. That would legally apply to all other rights as well, free speech, religion, voting, due process, etc. It certainly removes the right to remain silent, to protection against incriminating yourself. The federal form 4473 (11)(e) to purchase a firearm requires self incrimination, giving evidence against yourself. Asking if you use illegal drugs. Regardless if it is legal by state, it is against federal law. Answer (yes) you are registered MMJ patient, FFL dealer cannot sell to you. Answer (no), and you are registered for MMJ, you can be charged with felony perjury, imprisoned, lose any guns you may have and never have a gun again.

    NO, the present cost of this medical care is far too HIGH. No pun intended. There is precedence prohibiting fees to exercise a constitutional right. Such as the Florida voters established. But no one should have to give up and forfeit their civil rights in order to receive medical care.

    All it would take to correct this abhorrent appalling offensive situation would be for congress to reclassify medical marijuana from class 1 to class 2 like other prescription medicines. But the simply will not do that. Because once upon a time it was outlawed for mostly racist discriminatory reasons, and later a government expert testified under oath he tried the MJ and turned into a bat. From the lazy drug to the killer drug to the gateway drug, read it yourself in the history of MJ laws.

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