Ron DeSantis says legalizing weed would boost black market
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall banquet. Photo via AP.

The Governor continues to be cautious about cannabis.

Ron DeSantis continues to position himself as a drug warrior on the issue of marijuana on the presidential campaign trail.

During an interview on The Big Show on KCPS, the Governor pointed to Colorado as an illustration of how legalized cannabis in that early adopter state didn’t destroy the illegal market for the product.

“You know, they’ve talked about, ‘Hey, if it was just legal, wouldn’t that put everyone out of business?’ It’s interesting. There have been states like Colorado who’ve done things like legalized marijuana and the argument was, well, you want to have a black market? It will be above board, taxed and all that stuff, yet Colorado has a bigger black market of marijuana since they’ve legalized it,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis has made anti-cannabis positions a staple of most of his term as Governor, with the exception of relenting and allowing flower to be sold. Last month on the trail, he suggested that patients in Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program use medical conditions as a “pretext” for getting high.

DeSantis has been all over the place rhetorically during not just this campaign but his political career when it comes to cannabis. In Iowa this summer, he said he opposed legalization because “they can throw fentanyl in” to the product. He made similar arguments during Friday’s radio hit.

“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.”

Florida voters may get to decide if they want non-medical adult use marijuana in 2024, and to that end, Republican legislators are mobilizing. One new bill (HB 1269) proposes a THC cap of 10% for Delta 8 and Delta 9 to go into effect 30 days after the amendment passes, if it makes the ballot this November.

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


  • Dont Say FLA

    January 5, 2024 at 2:20 pm

    This very same reasoning apparently escapes Rhonda when the topic is guns. Without a legal market for guns, there’s no black market for guns.

    As they say, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” So why outlaw weed?

    Because weed is the police’s golden ticket into any car (“I smelled marijuana,” said every cop ever who wanted to search a car) and the FOP does like their scams that keep the confiscations and other revenues (telemarketing scams) flowing in.

    Florida, the land of free dumb. All’s of it that you can eat.

    • GOParty

      January 5, 2024 at 5:33 pm

      Trulieve stock up 9.94% on desantis’ weed’s falling from the sky comments. AITAH? Nope it’s ronald.
      He’s “lookinat” removing Biden from the ballot…what a clown.

      • Hamas Earl

        January 5, 2024 at 6:09 pm

        A poor attorney and capricious legislator. And Casey is the homemaker…🤷🏻‍♂️

  • Jay Smif

    January 5, 2024 at 2:23 pm

    Christ, his ignorance pronounces itself further by the hour it seems. “we don’t want that stupid tax revenue, just like we don’t want those Medicare funds for our poorest citizens!”

    • Hamas Earl

      January 5, 2024 at 6:10 pm

      Some Harvard and Yale man this Naval Officer turned out to be 👀

  • Sea Gar

    January 5, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    Weed smells less bad than cigar smoke wafting out from the country clubs Ivy League elites like Ron DeSantis frequent.

  • Al Capone

    January 5, 2024 at 2:31 pm

    My profits on my illegal booze trade went through the roof after Prohibition was repealed. People just prefer to buy unknowns at higher cost than buying knowns at a lower cost. That is how economics works. In Florida, I guess?

  • Weed Pickers

    January 5, 2024 at 2:56 pm

    The Florida Orange Juice industry already can’t find workers to pick the oranges because of Rhonda. The farm worker shortage created by Rhonda is the exclusive reason why Rhonda does not want more farm jobs in Florida. As things are, there’s not enough folks to pick the oranges. Who would pick the weed?

  • Brian Kelly

    January 5, 2024 at 3:12 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!

    It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national cannabis policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-cannabis, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

    Politicians who continue to demonize Cannabis, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Cannabis possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through cannabis home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose cannabis, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Cannabis Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    • Salt4U

      January 5, 2024 at 8:26 pm

      Just a fyi, 28 states have some form of legal cannabis. And 3 more states (including ours) voting on it in November. So more like 2/3 of the country. Sorry for being pedantic.

  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    January 5, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    Right, that’s why there’s still all that bootlegging and moonshining going on after the 21st Amendment.

  • Linwood Wright

    January 5, 2024 at 3:51 pm

    Complaining about the smell in Florida, where cigars are everywhere is quite argument there Rhonda.

    • Hamas Earl

      January 5, 2024 at 6:11 pm

      Sulfur water, anyone?!?

  • Rude Eye

    January 5, 2024 at 5:30 pm

    Speaking of cigars, how’s that business in Florida going Ronny? Not too good huh. Only $20M dollars in revenue yearly are coming out the cigar industry in Florida, That’s LESS than the average cost of ONE house on Star Island. Colorado makes more $325M yearly on weed and some other states make significantly more. Maybe Ronny should try smoking weed, it might cure his head bobbling and mental issues.

  • ScienceBLVR

    January 5, 2024 at 6:21 pm

    So a friend has a medical Maryjane card and yikes, that smoke is kind a pricey at the dispensaries. He claims, Street weed is less expensive and generally a perfectly fine choice. Tax free, too…

    • ron is a loser

      January 6, 2024 at 2:50 pm

      Ron gave his buddies the lisences to sell weed . hes making money thru donations so of course he doesnt want it legal. as a person who depends on weed to help my disabilities the dispensarys are a rip off low thc high prices . we need it legal now . see roin gets cash for reupping the weed cards and its not cheap . its all about money for him not the people. I am so glad there are term limits so this person will never hold office that matters in florida ever again

  • Abram Nicholson

    January 5, 2024 at 6:36 pm

    DeSantis us a comete fool and moron as well as an arrogant fool.

    • My Take

      January 6, 2024 at 3:46 am

      He does seem to need to yell out every idiot thought he has.

  • Jackie Kulp

    January 6, 2024 at 7:22 am

    Nikki Haley for US President
    John Morgan for Florida Governor

    • Tom

      January 6, 2024 at 8:28 am

      I’d vote John Morgan / Grant Hill on the basis of this statement alone:
      “Whether Morgan is serious about a run this time is yet to be seen, but he already suggested that if he was elected, he’d ensure that the Florida Legislature meet every two years instead of annually because “every time these folks get together they f**k the people over for the benefit of a few powerful interests.”

  • Tom

    January 6, 2024 at 8:08 am

    I’ve always been of the opinion that people who are going to smoke weed are going to smoke weed. The choice is whether you walk into a dispensary and buy it in a regulated, safe environment or head over to the bad part of town and deal with the gang bangers who may sell you weed (possibly laced with whatever), may pull a gun on you and rob you (nobody needs a licence to carry anymore – thanks rhonda) or upsell you with meth, coke or whatever.
    Just as a public safety issue, it should be legalized. The amount of drug deals gone wrong crime I see on the local news kind of bears this theory out IMO.

  • DeSantisLovesAlcoholMoney

    January 7, 2024 at 8:07 am

    DeSantis is doing everything he can to protect the powerful alcohol industry. They have been fighting the people of Florida for years. Those who came here for freedom and personal liberty surely didn’t envision a state where the industry that spurs drunk driving and a myriad of crimes involving aggression would be able to pressure politicians to jail those that pick a chemical other than their own. For some, it is a non-traditional medication outside of the claws of the pharmaceutical industry. I often wonder why cigarettes and alcohol are welcome in the state of FL but marijuana is still considered the devils lettuce. If DeSantis were so worried about the smell and public health,, he would ban cigarettes and cigars in public and multi-family residences- where neighbors are forced exposure to the secondhand smoke from a neighbor.

    • MH/Duuuval

      January 7, 2024 at 11:30 am

      Associated Industries is perennially the leading lobbyist in Florida, and the liquor industry — retail and wholesale — is an important financial contributor.

    • Dont Say FLA

      January 8, 2024 at 9:59 am

      Rhonda is also protecting the healthcare industry: “All things in moderation” requires more than one thing, but Rhonda protects alcohol’s monopoly on wrecking human organs in Florida.

  • jean solomon

    January 8, 2024 at 11:33 am

    i have never known a weed smoker to be violent..most are quite mellow and just live their lives…how many people ,in Florida, have been injured or killed by drunk drivers…weed might help Ronald relax maybe he would be able to control his bobbing head..he realliy is too up-tight.

Comments are closed.


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