Big Push for 'No' Vote on Medical Marijuana in Orlando

There's a big push to get people to vote 'no' on medical marijuana, and prominent local businessman Harris Rosen is helping to lead the charge. Rosen said he is concerned about the impact medical marijuana could have on Orlando's image as a family friendly tourist destination.

Rosen and the Drug Free Florida Committee hosted a workshop about medical marijuana Tuesday at the Rosen Plaza Hotel. "This is just a ruse," said Rosen. "We're just opening Pandora's box and we deserve better than that."

The issue will be on the ballot in November. Rosen believes if medical marijuana passes International Drive could pay a high price. There are more than 1,800 expected medical marijuana dispensaries or "pot shop" locations across the state, including on I-Drive.

The workshop, which included Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, was set up to educate business owners on what the opposition group calls the potential negative impact Amendment 2 could have on central Florida if passed.

"We got a lot of lawyers standing up saying, 'This is something good.' I would say to the public, 'Question that. Listen to your doctors,'" said Demings.

The speakers defined several hidden issues the amendment and said it lacks needed regulation.

"How many of those 94 million people who come here now don't want to have clouds of marijuana smoke outside their hotel or outside our world class attractions?" Putnam asked.

WFTV spoke with the campaign manager for United for Care, which is in favor of Amendment 2. He called the loopholes presented at the workshop another attempt at scare tactics. The loopholes include: vague definitions of caregivers and pill mills, a lack of prescription and restrictions for teenagers. Also, there is questionable legal liability.

WFTV

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