Florida Ag Commissioner Leans Into Cannabis Legalization

Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried is calling for cannabis legalization in the state and fielding donations based on advancing the legalization issue.

Full story after the jump.

In a fundraising email, Florida’s highest-ranking Democrat — Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried — requested donations to help her “push” for cannabis reform, Florida Politics report.

Titled “Making marijuana legal,” the email calls for donations so Fried can “continue to push for cannabis legalization to protect those targeted by prohibitive laws, to increase access to medical marijuana, and to grow a consumer-friendly hemp industry in our state.”

Commissioner Fried also praised the Marijuana Opportunity Expungement and Re-investment (MORE) Act, which was advanced by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month.

“This historic vote marks the monumental progress our country has made to address the racial injustices of prohibition. Lawmakers are recognizing the urgent need to end misguided federal cannabis laws, to begin to right the wrongs of the war on drugs and its damage to communities of color.” — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, in the email

During a podcast interview for Orlando News 13’s “Beyond the Sound Bites,” Fried said she believes that legal cannabis would bring jobs and revenue to Florida, reduce health care costs, and reduce burdens on the courts. She told the hosts, “We have ABC liquor stores in our neighborhood and they don’t cause crime. We haven’t seen an increase in crime around the dispensaries anywhere across the country.”

Fried is not the only Floridian seeking legalization. “Make it Legal Florida” is mounting a campaign to bring an adult-use cannabis initiative to the state’s 2022 ballot. In addition, lawmakers have announced plans to introduce adult-use legalization bills during the 2021 session, setting Florida up to be one of the next state’s expected to legalize adult-use cannabis.

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