It should go without saying that next Tuesday’s mid-term elections are of critical importance to our nation’s near-term future. But I will say it again, because it’s a point that just cannot be overstated. The last couple of years have seen vast changes in this country, and this election will bear directly on issues ranging from mass shootings to mass incarceration (and everything in between).
As such, cannabis is probably way down on the list of priorities, but there are clear choices to be made.
This is the main event. The next governor will be responsible for the implementation of Amendment 2 for the next four years–or not, if the Republican candidate wins. Ron DeSantis will continue along the obstructionist path paved by his predecessor, Rick Scott. (DeSantis might even add some extra lanes, in fact.) Meanwhile, Andrew Gillum carries this issue from post to post in this campaign, followed closely by his running mate Chris King. A win from the Democratic ticket will accelerate growth in the industry and smooth the process as we move toward full legalization in 2020.
Senate, Congress and State House
As noted above, Rick Scott did his best to slow the movement in Florida, and there’s still a whole lotta of legal action pending. So the viper community isn’t rooting for the term-limited Republican governor to move to Washington, D.C. as Florida Senator. Besides, you could spatter all the shatter from Southside to Sarasota and still not get as high as former astronaut–and current sitting Senator–Bill Nelson got in the space shuttle. There’s just no competing with that.
As for the other races, candidates tend to break along party lines, so not much needs to be said. I will give a shout-out to Mia Jones, Jennifer Casey, Tracye Polson and Nancy Soderberg as particular favorites.
This is always the tricky part. Our beloved Amendment 2 is a great example of how ambiguously worded these things can be, and how that impacts on policy later. Like a lying auctioneer, the new batch is positively twisting with doubletalk, so I’ll leave the bulk of them be. Amendment 4 is automatic, though, restoring voting rights to thousands of Floridians with cannabis convictions (and helping build a permanent Democratic majority for future elections). Amendment 9 would ban vaping in workplaces (including Mar-A-Lago), but it also bans offshore drilling, so you’ll have to decide what matters more.
Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner
AG candidate Sean Shaw’s vocal stance on decriminalization makes him ideal, while Ashley Moody has been relatively quiet on the subject. Either would take a more liberal approach than “Nonstick” Pam Bondi (but that’s not hard).
Democratic Ag. Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried has probably taken the most strongly pro-cannabis stand of any candidate this year. It might carry her to victory over Republican rival Matt Caldwell.
Duval residents can get all the information you need at duvalelections.com. Voters in neighboring counties can consult at dos.myflorida.com/elections.
Of course, all of this is academic, because the average Folio Weekly reader was already likely to vote Democratic from the top of the ballot to the bottom.
It’s been one of the roughest, rowdiest, most revelatory election cycles in our lifetimes, and not a single candidate involved in it can honestly claim to know for sure what their professional fate shall be. We’ll be sending some of them to Tallahassee, others to Washington, D.C.w, but the majority of folks in contention will be sent home in some degree of disgrace–and, more often than not, that’s where they belong.
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