GOP Governor Rick Scott Makes ‘Willful’ Sale Of Marijuana Pipes And Bongs Illegal In Florida

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Marijuana is bad, mmmmkay?

Rick Scott has signed a “bong ban” bill in Florida. Florida is becoming nationally known for its “pill mills,” distributing millions of addictive OxyContin pills, however, the Republican controlled legislature has decided to attack marijuana users. Although the bill appears to be symbolic and largely toothless, the mere gesture of signing this bill into law shows how “limited” Rick Scott’s government really is.

The bill makes the sale of pipes, bongs, bowls and other devices commonly used to smoke marijuana illegal. However, there is a caveat. The bill says “knowing and willful” sale of drug paraphernalia is prohibited. So any head shop owner that sells pipes can do so, if the purpose of the device is used for tobacco. However, if marijuana is even mentioned as the intended use the retailer can face up to a 1,000 dollar fine or 1 year jail sentence for a first offense. If the retailer is caught two times it is considered a 3rd degree felony. This means if you are caught “willfully” selling a marijuana pipe you can face up to 5 years in prison and lose your right to vote in Florida.

Meanwhile, 7 in 10 Florida voters support a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana. This outstanding support shows the obvious disconnect between Florida state lawmakers and its citizens. A bill to legalize medical marijuana in the Florida Senate didn’t even receive a hearing. The bill is called the “Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act” after Cathy Jordan who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease since 1986. Mrs. Jordan used marijuana to help with her condition. The Manatee County police staged a raid on her house, guns drawn and all, on the medical marijuana advocates house in February. Just to be clear: the cops utilized a para-militarized force to raid the house of a person suffering from a disease that causes muscle spasms, weakness and muscle atrophy. This clearly constitutes a blatant overuse of government force. The police seized 23 plants which she was using to help mitigate the progression of her illness. Perhaps they were expecting Reefer Madness?

There are pushes to get medical marijuana on the Florida ballot in 2014, the year Rick Scott is up for re-election. If the measure successfully finds its way on the ballot, Rick Scott will have to answer for his “bong ban” bill. The push for medical marijuana has made considerable strides in the state of Florida. However, if elected representatives continue to ignore the demands of the people it can actually begin to affect their campaigns and the positions they take on this issue. Going forward medical marijuana will no longer be a non-issue; rather it seems it can become a defining issue for candidates in Florida state elections.