PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Bell and State Sen. Jack Latvala:
Amendment 2 Has No Business in Florida’s Constitution
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (September 30, 2016) – Today at a press conference former Florida Supreme Court Justice Kenneth B. Bell and State Sen. Jack Latvala (R-St. Petersburg) urged Floridians to vote no on the scam that is Amendment 2. Justice Bell and Sen. Latvala pointed out the major legal problems and loopholes that accompany enshrining this amendment in Florida’s constitution.
“If Amendment 2 passes and becomes part of our state’s constitution, the people of Florida will forfeit their ability to legislatively improve the law and to address the inevitable unintended consequences,” said Justice Bell, former Florida Supreme Court Justice. “If still a judge, I would be forced to make my decision based on the plain text of the amendment. If the marijuana industry files suit against a community ban on ‘pot shops,’ I would have to rule in favor of the marijuana industry because Amendment 2 doesn’t include a local option. Likewise, if the legislature wants to ban ‘pot candy’ because too many kids are being rushed to the ER, I would have to rule that ban unconstitutional because Amendment 2 specifically protects ‘pot candy.’”
“Amendment 2 is still filled with problems and loopholes,” said Sen. Latvala (R-St. Petersburg). “The idea that the Florida Legislature will write rules that aren’t specifically spelled out and delineated in this constitutional amendment in order regulate it is simply not true. Passing amendment 2 sets a dangerous precedent for our state, one that cannot be easily fixed.”
“We are honored to have the support of Sen. Latvala (R-St. Petersburg) and Justice Bell in our fight to defeat Amendment 2,” said Christina Johnson, spokesperson for the VOTE NO on 2 campaign. “They join Florida sheriffs, business and religious organizations who agree that this amendment should not be in our constitution. It would tie the hands of local governments and legislators; proliferate the use of marijuana in Florida; and allow as many as 2,000 pot shops run by budtenders, not pharmacists, to operate in our state.”
Justice Bell and Sen. Latvala join the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Farm Bureau, the Florida Baptist Convention, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Florida Medical Association, and others against the legalization of marijuana. To learn more about what these strong voices had to say about Amendment 2 click here.
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.
About Justice Kenneth B. Bell
Justice Kenneth B. Bell is a former Florida Supreme Court Justice, serving from 2002-2008. Prior to serving on Florida’s highest court, Ken was as a circuit judge in Florida’s First Judicial Circuit from 1991-2002. In 1991, he became the youngest Circuit Judge in the history of the First Circuit. During his twelve years on the circuit court bench, Ken handled more than 27,500 cases as a general jurisdiction judge, and was actively involved in seeking to improve the judicial system. Preceding his elevation to the judiciary, Ken was Pensacola’s first board certified real estate attorney.
About State Senator Jack Latvala
Senator Latvala represents Florida’s 20th District, which includes Largo, Clearwater, Belleair, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and Oldsmar. He is one of the few Floridians who’s been returned by voters to the State Senate on two separate occasions. He first served in the Florida Senate from 1994 to 2002. Senator Latvala has been a Florida resident for almost 50 years and lives in Clearwater. He owns printing company in Largo, a car wash in Steinhatchee and enjoys spending his time with his two children and two grandchildren.
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