Ron DeSantis says he ‘would not legalize’ marijuana amid worries about ‘kids’ and ‘fentanyl’

Marijuana Effects On The Brain
'The drugs are killing this country.'

During a presidential campaign event Saturday in Iowa, Ron DeSantis reiterated his opposition to legalized marijuana.

The Governor worries that young children would be able to access cannabis, and that it possibly could be adulterated with fentanyl.

“Yeah, I would not legalize,” DeSantis said. “I think what’s happened is this stuff is very potent now.”

“I think it’s a real, real problem and I think it’s a lot different than stuff that people were using 30 or 40 years ago. And I think when kids get on that, I think it causes a lot of problems,” DeSantis said. “And then, of course, you know, they can throw fentanyl in any of this stuff now.”

“The drugs are killing this country,” DeSantis added, during the event coordinated by the Never Back Down Super PAC.

DeSantis discussed what he saw during a trip to San Francisco this Summer as evidence that cannabis should not be legalized, before acknowledging that in Florida, cannabis has been available for years and that it has not been spiked with fentanyl.

“We have medical in our Constitution, we have medical marijuana, we enforce that, you know, we abide by it, but to take action now to make it even more available, I would not do that,” DeSantis said, adding that legalization in Colorado has only expanded the “black market.”

Early in his first term in office, DeSantis pleased reformers when he came out against the Rick Scott-era opposition to cannabis that could be smoked. Previously, loose flower was not available, with only vaporizer cups for sale at dispensaries.

“I look at someone who has Lou Gehrig’s disease or terminal cancer or multiple sclerosis … I think the Florida voters who voted for that wanted them to have access to medical marijuana under the supervision of a physician. Whether they have to smoke it or not, who am I to judge that?” DeSantis said. “I want people to have their suffering relieved. I don’t think this law is up to snuff.”

However, the Governor took a harder line against marijuana in recent years.

“If you look at some of the stuff that’s now coming down, there’s a lot of really bad things in it. It’s not necessarily what you would’ve had 30 years ago when someone’s in college and they’re doing something. You have some really, really bad stuff in there, so I think having the ability to identify that, I think, that’s safety, and quite frankly when you get into some of that stuff, it’s not medicinal at that point for sure,” DeSantis said, in response to a reporter’s question in 2021.

In 2022, the Governor took an even harder line position against so-called “recreational” use.

“What I don’t like about it is if you go to some of these places that have done it, the stench when you’re out there, I mean, it smells so putrid,” he told reporters. “I could not believe the pungent odor that you would see in some of these places. I don’t want to see that here. I want people to be able to breathe freely.”

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


22 comments

  • Brian Kelly

    August 26, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    Legalize federally now. What’s legal to possess and consume in nearly half of The United States should not make you a criminal in states still being governed by woefully ignorant prohibitionist politicians.

    Cannabis consumers in all states deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All-American pastime, alcohol.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Nationwide Federally Now!

    Fear of Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever. So please prohibitionists, we beg you to give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Cannabis Nationwide a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

    Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of cannabis legalization, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

    The prohibition of cannabis has not decreased the supply nor the demand for cannabis at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing citizens for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than alcohol.

    If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

    Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize cannabis when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

    Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and/or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Cannabis Laws.

    • Cheri Placzkowski

      August 27, 2023 at 3:09 pm

      Alcohol is and has always been the devil here!!

    • Bill

      August 27, 2023 at 6:27 pm

      Perfect. No need to say more.

  • Regina

    August 27, 2023 at 8:06 am

    Are you listening, Florida Supreme Court? Your MASTER commands you to reject the recreational marijuana amendment.

  • Dan

    August 27, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Lost my vote

  • Richard Russell

    August 27, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    They call it “dope” for a reason, a very good reason. As a member of the miliary in the late 60’s and college student in the early 70’s I saw the effect it had on reasonably intelligent members of my generation. And it was illegal then. Now to make it legal in Florida, is BS. Why does China and other countries prosecute its use so severely? Because they realize the destruction it does to both the intellect and the motivation of its people. And who is or has maybe already overtaken the USA in both categories???????

    • Brian Kelly

      August 27, 2023 at 6:15 pm

      Only ignorant, irrational “dopes” still refer to cannabis as “dope”. Cannabis is not “dope”. By calling it that, you only make it that much easier for everyone to see your ignorance, along with the anger and resentment you hold towards this natural plant and it’s consumers.

      If anything, you can say that booze is the real “dope” because it makes people do the dumbest things, often become violent, and then blackout and not remember all the havoc caused by the booze, like true “dopes”.

      Go ask your local street drug dealer for some “dope”.

      You’re not going to get cannabis, guaranteed

      Btw: Anecdotal “Horror Stories” coming from vehemently vocal anti-marijuana types carry little weight.

      Such “Horror Stories” and scare-tactics don’t frighten, fool, nor convince anybody who has at least half a brain and has their very own internet access with Google.

      Just saying…

      “Cannabis is 114 times safer than drinking alcohol”

      “Cannabis may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say”

      “Cannabis may be even safer than previously thought, researchers say New study: We should stop fighting Cannabis legalization and focus on alcohol and tobacco instead By Christopher Ingraham February 23

      Compared with other recreational drugs — including alcohol — Cannabis may be even safer than previously thought. And researchers may be systematically underestimating risks associated with alcohol use.

      Those are the top-line findings of recent research published in the journal Scientific Reports, a subsidiary of Nature. Researchers sought to quantify the risk of death associated with the use of a variety of commonly used substances. They found that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.”
      -Washingtonpost

      “The report discovered that Cannabis is 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Researchers were able to determine this by comparing the lethal doses with the amount of typical use. Through this approach, Cannabis had the lowest mortality risk to users out of all the drugs they studied. In fact—because the numbers were crossed with typical daily use—Cannabis is the only drug that tested as “low risk.”
      -Complex

    • Tim McLaughlin

      August 29, 2023 at 8:04 am

      You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Rick Whitaker

        September 3, 2023 at 12:49 am

        are you admitting your ignorance with such a stupid comment. pot is harmless compared to achahol

    • Josh Green

      August 29, 2023 at 4:44 pm

      Ok Boomer

      • Rick Whitaker

        September 3, 2023 at 12:52 am

        what the heck is that mean? are you an age bigot

    • Joe

      August 30, 2023 at 3:27 pm

      Richard Russell still hasn’t moved on from his know-nothing youth and still buys whatever the man in a suit is selling him on the TV…

      Hey Dick — “Contemporize, man!”

    • Rick Whitaker

      September 3, 2023 at 12:40 am

      no richard you are full of it. i was in the viet nam war and went to college and all that you spoke of, and i see things the opposite of the way you see it. kids today are doing hard drugs because it is way cheaper than pot. your anti pot ramblings tells me you are probably an alcoholic . i’m glad i don’t know you. what a loser!

  • Yvonne Arthur

    August 27, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    He has definitely lost my vote. Legalize and I believe that people should be able to make the decision to use or not to. Don’t take our rights away.

    • Rick Whitaker

      September 3, 2023 at 12:45 am

      right on. i got my voting rights taken away by a gop governor here in tennessee for a pot conviction years ago. the gop is downright evil. please vote against the gop since i can’t

  • Isa712

    August 27, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    There are more killings by a drug driver then someone driving slow on weed lol

  • Michael K

    August 28, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Guns are far more lethal and dangerous, yet Governor DeathSentence has basically allowed anyone in our communities to buy death machines — all in order to secure a few cheap MAGA votes.

    Let people who enjoy marijuana enjoy it in peace, as they already do in several other states. Put it on the ballot along with a woman’s right to reproductive choice. Then watch Republicans get wiped out in a landslide. And that’s the real issue: they know they are out of touch and out of sync.

  • Regina

    August 29, 2023 at 4:44 pm

    I’m sick and f*cking tired of politicians basing policy around “protecting the kids”. What about the adults?

    Kids grow up and will spend most of their life as adults.
    And I say that as a parent of 2. It’s the parents job to raise their kids, and if they don’t want them drinking or using drugs, raise them correctly.

  • Joe

    August 30, 2023 at 3:24 pm

    The guns are killing this country.

    • Rick Whitaker

      September 3, 2023 at 12:53 am

      gop loves guns. ain’t that sick

  • Tjb

    September 3, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    The only dope we should be afraid of is Ron DeSantis.
    He is clueless on how easy it is for kids to buy illegal pot, that can be laced with other dangerous drugs. Legalize pot is safer because you have quality testing as it passes thru the supply chain.

Comments are closed.


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