Monday, June 19, 2017 at 3:04 p.m.
Miami Beach Commissioner Ricky Arriola has an extremely weird list of interests. For one, he’s extremely into the 1960s counter-culture. A few years ago, he snapped a photo of himself in a leather jacket at the exact site where the cover shot for Bob Dylan’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was taken.
But Arriola seems to be the sort of Baby Boomer who drapes himself in the iconography of 1960s progressivism but fights against the actual things that movement stood for, like increased access to weed. Despite the fact that Dylan has been stoned pretty much constantly since the 1960s, Arriola is now sponsoring yet another ordinance that would block medical cannabis dispensaries from opening in Miami Beach for another six months.
This is is second time Arriola has tried to restrict medical weed on the Beach. His new ordinance could undercut a different pot law the Beach is currently considering: On July 26, the commission will vote on whether to allow three dispensaries within city limits. If Arriola’s new ordinance passes, it’ll be another six months before any of those potentially legal dispensaries can even apply for permits to open up shop.
The new bill comes after a public-records request revealed that Arriola was emailing local businesses, trying to scare them away from supporting medical marijuana. This led local documentary filmmaker and rabble-rouser Billy Corben to label Arriola “Reefer Madness Ricky.”
Fun seems to terrify Arriola. This year, he’s also backed ordinances that would have forced the famed Purdy Lounge on Sunset Harbor to close at 2 a.m. (since the neighborhood has gentrified recently and the new, wealthy residents don’t like having bars nearby), and is backing a plan to demolish the historic Jackie Gleason Theater (now called the