It is hard enough to get people to actually vote, as simple as that task may be.
It is even harder when elected officials tell people essentially, that your vote means absolutely nothing.
But that’s the message voters are getting in South Florida, after the state voted overwhelmingly to allow dispensaries for medical marijuana.
When the medical marijuana amendment was on the ballot last November, 72 percent of Florida voters — an overwhelming majority — supported it. Those voters understood that the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes would be a real source of pain relief for many folks who were suffering with various diseases.
Medical marijuana had failed once before, but now Floridians were saying that if pot could give some relief to people who needed it for medical reasons, why not?
Voters may have said that, but at least six South Florida cities have banned, or plan to ban, the dispensaries where legal marijuana can be procured.
The cities that have banned dispensaries are Lauderdale-by-the-Sea (where 73 percent of the voters approved medical marijuana), Royal Palm Beach (74 percent), Southwest Ranches (70 percent) and Sea Ranch Lakes (63 percent). Cities considering a ban are Boca Raton (76 percent approved the medical marijuana amendment) and Coral Springs (76 percent).
Officials in those cities are coming up with all sorts of reasons why they don’t want dispensaries. The bottom line is your vote didn’t matter.
‘”These cities are hurting their own citizens and their own economy,” Orlando attorney John Morgan told the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board. Morgan was one of the major backers of the marijuana amendment and a man who may run for governor of Florida next year.
“It’s the arrogance of politicians, and it’s why they are universally despised at the local, state and national level.