Florida, California Law Enforcement Oppose Amendment 2

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release

Florida, California Law Enforcement Oppose Amendment 2
-New Ad Warns Florida of California Debacle-

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (October 10, 2016) – The VOTE NO on 2 campaign today shared a list of respected law enforcement officials in Florida and California, all whom have voiced their opposition to Florida’s Amendment 2 appearing on the November ballot.

In a recent television ad, Amendment 2 Is About Legalizing Pot, Orange County California Sheriff Sandra Hutchens asks, “Wonder what Amendment 2 will do to Florida? The same thing it did to California. Pushing pot for things like trouble sleeping, and anxiety.” Hutchens, president of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association (MCSA) also warns that “Amendment 2 isn’t about helping the sick, it’s about legalizing pot. In California, we learned that. The hard way. Don’t let it happen to Florida.”

“We are honored to have the support of law enforcement officials and organizations from our state and from California,” said Christina Johnson, spokesperson for the VOTE NO on 2 campaign. “We share the same concerns of our law enforcement officials and are focused on ensuring that Floridians know that this amendment is no more than legalized pot.”

The following have publicly stated their opposition and concerns against Amendment 2:

  • Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA)
  • Orange County Sheriff and FSA President Jerry Demings
  • Polk County Sheriff and past FSA President Grady Judd
  • Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw
  • Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell
  • Madison County Sheriff Ben Stewart
  • Kern County, California Sheriff and president of the California State Sheriffs Association Donny Youngblood
  • Orange County, California Sheriff and president of the MCSA Sandra Hutchens

Here’s what leaders are saying:

Florida Sheriffs Association Resolution to Address the Legalization of Medical Marijuana, February 2, 2016
…WHEREAS, the legalization of marijuana would be contrary to the interests of the public health, safety and welfare, and would undermine the quality of life of the citizens of the state of Florida. Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved By The Florida Sheriffs Association That: The Florida Legislature Should Continue To Be The Exclusive Forum To Initiate And Make Appropriate Changes To Laws Related To The Legalization Of Medical Marijuana.

A September 18, 2016, Orlando Sentinel article by Gray Rohrer reported:
[Orange County Sheriff and Florida Sheriff’s Association President Jerry] “Demings said he thinks Amendment 2 would increase illicit use of marijuana, which he deems a “gateway” to harder drugs.

“Though it’s being billed as about medical, we know it’s about recreation,” Demings said. “It’s the wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

An October 4, 2016 Palm Beach Post article by Jeff Ostrowski reported:
“Amendment 2 has the potential to make the use and abuse of marijuana worse than the pill mill crisis,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, president of Florida Sheriffs Association, said in an interview.

…he [Orange County Sheriff and Florida Sheriff’s Association President Jerry Demings] considers it a gateway drug that introduces users to harder drugs.

“I never met an addict who didn’t start out using marijuana,” Demings said.

Judd: No change in criticism of medical marijuana amendment
Gary White, The Ledger, August 24, 2016

“I haven’t changed my position at all,” he said. “At the end of the day, smoked marijuana is not medicine. That’s my clear message.”

“Repeating the arguments he made in 2014, [Polk County Sheriff and past Florida Sheriffs Association president Grady] Judd said he considers the proposal a first step toward allowing unconditional use of marijuana. Despite changes in the wording of the measure, he said it still contains loopholes that could easily be exploited. Judd also pointed to a law passed in this year’s legislative session as a reason Amendment 2 isn’t needed. The law allows terminally ill patients in their final days to use marijuana for palliative care. Another law passed in 2014 allows Floridians with severe epilepsy or cancer to use an oil derived from marijuana plants bred to be low in THC, the compound that causes psychological effects.’”

“The Florida Legislature heard the people of the state of Florida in the last election … and the Legislature went out and passed a medical marijuana law,” Judd said. “If you need marijuana for a medical purpose in Florida today, you can get it.’”

An October 4, 2016 Palm Beach Post article by Jeff Ostrowski reported:
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw also opposes Amendment 2…

An August 13, 2016 Ledger article by Gary White reported:
One of the continuing critics is Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell.

“I’m 100 percent against it,” Prummell said by phone. “I don’t think it’s good for our state. There are a lot of loopholes in it, and it’s just a first step to try to do outright legalization. Like Grady (Judd) said, and I agree 100 percent, all we’re going to do is we’re going to trade our pill mills for pot shops.”

Prummell, who has served since 2012, said he spoke publicly about Amendment 2 in the previous campaign and has continued to do so, accepting invitations from civic groups in southwest Florida.

“I haven’t stopped since the last one because there was a rumor it was going to rear its ugly head again, and that turned out to be true,” he said.

An October 4, 2016 article from the Madison County Carrier & Madison Enterprise-Record reported:
Madison County Sheriff, Ben Stewart, is opposed to passing the Amendment 2 proposal.

Stewart says that he feels that this proposal will circumvent the medical process with their plans to make changes to the constitution with this amendment and changes made to the constitution are practically impossible to reverse. He goes on to say that the so called caregivers will “be glorified pot dealers.”

Judd: No change in criticism of medical marijuana amendment
Gary White, The Ledger, August 24, 2016

[Polk County Sheriff and past Florida Sheriffs Association president Grady] Judd said his silence should not be interpreted as a retreat from his staunch opposition to the proposed amendment.

“I haven’t changed my position at all,” he said. “At the end of the day, smoked marijuana is not medicine. That’s my clear message.”

A September 1, 2016, Palm Beach Post article by Jeff Ostrowski reported:
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, president of the California State Sheriffs Association, disagrees. Youngblood said he often sees violent crimes, including shootings, at dispensaries in the Bakersfield area.’ The type of people who tend to hang out there are the type of people who tend to be involved in violent crime,” Youngblood said. “I hope Florida does not pass this, because they’re going to regret it. It’s not about medicine. It’s about getting high.’”

Viewpoint: Don’t be duped by marijuana
Orange County, California, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Pensacola News Journal, 09/25/16

“And while our legislature has had a difficult time reforming the law, they do at least have the power to fix it. That would not be the case in Florida, because Florida’s Amendment 2 would be embedding this California-style marijuana law in the state’s constitution. Once it passes it will be impossible to fix without another constitutional amendment. Florida’s legislature, law enforcement and local government won’t be able to touch it.”

“So yes — California’s medical marijuana law was a joke. Even the coauthor of the law admits it — describing medical marijuana dispensaries as little more “than dope dealers with storefronts.” But it looks like the same joke is being played on Florida, only there would be no hope of fixing the inevitable problems and unintended consequences.”

The VOTE NO on 2 Campaign’s sole purpose is to expose the Amendment 2 scam.  For more information on the VOTE NO on 2 Campaign, please visit http://www.VoteNo2.org.

Paid political advertisement paid for by Drug Free Florida Committee, 115 East Park Avenue, Suite 1, Tallahassee, Florida 32301

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