Editor's Note: These letters are in response to the Observer's stance on the proposed amendments to Florida's Constitution. You can read the full text of the amendments, as well as our views on them, at this link, originally published at yourobserver.com.
Don’t fall for these amendments
At the end of the Constitutional Convention, a lady ask Ben Franklin, “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin replied, "A republic — if you can keep it.” We didn't.
A democracy is a direct government ruled by a majority; it's mob rule and requiring a 60% just makes it a bigger mob. It's two wolves and a pig voting on what's for dinner. Mob rule is swift and depends on the passion of the mob at that moment. Democracy absolves elected officials of any blame; it's a coward's way of avoiding responsibility. "I didn't vote for a pot law, you people did.”
Republic lawmaking is a slow, deliberate process that requires all three branches of the government to pass and approve a law. It can make mistakes like a mob usually does, but the purpose, cost and reasons for or against the law have a far better chance of being discussed by informed people.
Amendment 1 hasn't anything to do with buying land to save the environment; we already have agencies buying land. Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever have and can spend what little money we have left. The amendment is nothing but a money grab; they want 30% of the doc stamp money guaranteed, and we are talking billions, an estimated $18 billion during the life of this farce. They try to insult your intelligence by saying this money is just sitting there waiting for them; no, this money is being spent now and will have to be replaced, and you know where the money will come from; that's right, us!
Thirty percent of Florida now belongs to a government: federal, state, county or city; that's 17,600 square miles — more land than all of Delaware, Connecticut and Maryland combined. This is land that is not taxed, produces nothing and probably made someone very rich.
The second amendment is just the first step on the road to legalized pot. I say we forget this amendment. All it's going to do is get good old wishy washy Charlie Crist elected; that's why it's on the ballot: got to get the pothead vote out. Wait until 2016 when they really need a big turn out; then they can put the hashish amendment on the ballot; if you're going to get stoned, really get stoned.
I have learned one thing from this fiasco: I might be the only person in Florida who doesn't have a relative in need of weed. This state couldn't control oxycodone, and now you want them to control pot?
As to the third or “judge” amendment, the system we have works; leave it alone. I understand judges and lawyers want this change. Be wary, be alert; they are usually up to no good. Remember, judges were once lawyers.
If you ain't wasted, go vote.
Vote against Amendment 2
One only has to visit San Francisco or just pick up some local Friso publications and you will find how easy it is to buy medicinal and other marijuana. Periodicals advertise clinics that for $45 will refill any prescription.
Other “clinics” advertise as providers. The fact is, folks go to doctors who take pen in hand and prescribe marijuana for numerous minor ailments or to satisfy a complaint verified only by the patient’s word.
It’s a joke, pure and simple.
Better we legalize recreational use, hand the business over to the tobacco industry to water down and add other ingredients to make the effect ever so “acceptable.” Then regulate who can buy and tax it like crazy.
Marijuana is dangerous; vote no
I concur with a “no” vote on this amendment.
I volunteer at the hospital and I spoke to many doctors who told me 1) Doctors cannot write a prescription for marijuana in Florida and 2) There are plenty of other alternatives for marijuana. It was several of their opinions that passage of this amendment would be a further disintegration of our society.
My question is why don’t we let the Legislature put in place a law that allows only medical doctors to write these prescriptions? To pass an amendment to let virtually any one in the medical profession certify that this drug will help a patient is just too loose a law. It will promote the use of a very dangerous drug.
To vote yes for this Amendment defies all common sense.
I say “drug” because, like cigarettes, it is very addictive (See Kevin Sabet’s book, “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana), it lowers education attainment in younger people, users are more prone to try other illegal drugs, and other health issues.
To top it off, Washington and Colorado are already experiencing a spike in arrests for driving-while-impaired infractions. It appears they passed this bill because they wanted the money and to lighten the load on our prisons. Never mind the collateral damage. In my opinion that is flat out unacceptable.
I sure hope everyone takes your advice and votes “no” at the voting booth.
A yes vote would damage the smuggling business
After reading the Palm Coast Observer’s article on the proposed amendments, I had to think back to the 1970s and ’80s. I was around many people who used and grew marijuana. It did not turn them into monsters — usually the opposite. But they were lazier than when not using. When they became sellers to finance their own expensive habit, they changed!
I feel the yes vote would cut into the smuggling and dealing of marijuana. It's no worse (usually less dangerous) than alcohol.
But after reading who is behind this yes vote, I can see that the losers are going to be the taxpayers because of the law suits.
I have a 70-year-old brother who is dying of kidney/lung cancer. He has smoked daily for over 50 years. Tell me there's no danger. (His life was on slow-mo most of the time, but he maintained a respectable life.)
Some people get addicted to anything. Their lives revolve around paying for their habits.
The only positive thing about the yes vote is the damage it will obviously do to the growers, the smugglers and the dealers.