Jacksonville City Council panel votes down cannabis civil citation bill

"We all started with that one sniff."

On Monday, a Jacksonville City Council committee “just said no” to cannabis civil citations.

The bill, carried by Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis, was DOA, despite decriminalization polling at 84 percent locally.

Dennis noted that his bill does not “legalize marijuana,” but simply offers the Sheriff’s Office a civil citation alternative.

“It’s not about legalizing marijuana. It’s how we punish them,” Dennis said, noting “decriminalization” language had been excised.

Dennis noted the “sniff” test, a popular pretext for search and arrest, has been rendered invalid by hemp legalization. Hemp, a cannabis cousin, does not contain the dread specter of THC.

Despite his passionate case, and a clear state and national trend toward cannabis acceptance, Dennis couldn’t make the sale to the Neighborhoods, Public Health and Safety committee.

“We all started with that one sniff,” Currycrat Reggie Gaffney said. “My biggest fear: once you start something, people want to try more and more and more.”

“After one puff, I stopped,” Gaffney added.

While no one has had an overdose death from cannabis yet, Gaffney issued a cautionary tale of a dead friend who got his start on what some call the “Devil’s lettuce.”

Councilwoman Joyce Morgan, a Democrat, said that the real focus should be on traffickers and dealers rather than small possession cases.

“We have got to get to the point where we stop putting the weight on the person on the street,” Morgan said. “It’s about the big drug dealers.”

Dennis noted a disparity: Opioid addicts get treatment, while marijuana smokers get hooked on the carceral state.

Dennis also noted that members of Gaffney’s own family likely have dealt with the issues related to unfair enforcement of drug laws.

Council members, including Gaffney and Rory Diamond, wanted to hear from Sheriff Mike Williams.

Mayor Lenny Curry, Williams and the police union head all oppose the bill, on which State Attorney Melissa Nelson has been silent.

Dennis said the Sheriff initially supported the concept, but “politics got in the way” of the bill.

“Now, he’s a no show,” Dennis said.

Ultimately, just Morgan and Priestly-Jackson backed the bill, which fell by a 2-5 vote.

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • Ben James

    August 19, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Legalization of recreational cannabis in Illinois, Michigan, Washington, Maine, California, Vermont, Massachusetts, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC has shown lots of positive results. The sky’s not falling, in fact it’s bluer than ever in these “cannabis legal” states with billions in new tax revenues to fund services, epileptic children getting medicine stopping seizures, law enforcement focused on real crime, drug cartels losing their control of marijuana trade and moving elsewhere. With all this blatantly obvious now, I have to ask what about the gigantic lie that government has been telling us for years regarding cannabis use?” What was the government’s motive in deliberately deceiving citizens about cannabis and allowing legal serial killers like alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical drugs to rule, control the market and to kill over 800,000 US citizens every year? The answer is easy, just follow the money!

    • Karen

      August 19, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      With all the mountains of scientific evidence proving the devastating effects of cannabis on a young developing brain only a brain dead pothead would say something so ridiculous!

      Why do so many want to live in a drugged stupor & allow themselves to be lead like sheep to slaughter??

      Humans are the only species on the planet with the ability to think & reason & make choices!
      Being drugged into submission & domination is the globalist plan!

      Wake up people before it’s too late!!!

  • Travis Henville

    August 19, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    you would think the politcos would have caught up to the polling on the issue by now.


    August 19, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Still do as i say….despite 84% of the populace wanting it…they do not represent the people anymore and should be carried out on rails…dictators and despots lol…they are not that smart even…you would think for an elected position they would do what the people TOLD them to do…we rule you…not the other way around silly politician..

  • Jane

    August 19, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Sadly drugged sheep don’t know what’s good or not good for them!

    Thank God for lawmakers with common sense!!!

  • Karen

    August 19, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    You deleted comments by Karen and Jane!

    Is this your way of controlling what people see and read ????

    Are you part of the plan to drug citizens into submission??

  • Frankie M.

    August 19, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    It’s all about heads in beds & I’m not talking about hotel bed taxes or the annual Gata bowl matchup. You control the population (not by legalizing marijuana) but by keeping people people trapped in an ever revolving door of fines and court fees. Once they become ensnared in this system it is very difficult to escape. They are penalized for being poor. Their biggest crime becomes their inability to pay.

    “Humans are the only species on the planet with the ability to think & reason & make choices!
    Being drugged into submission & domination is the globalist plan!”

    It seems to me that if people are capable of making choices like you say their elected representatives should not thwart the will of their constituents under the guise of some misguided parental role they have adopted.

    For God’s sake think about the children!

Comments are closed.


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