FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
ORLANDO, FL. (October 1, 2014) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce along with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and business leaders from throughout Florida today announced their opposition to legalizing drugs in Florida and urged Floridians to vote no on Amendment 2. The press conference was hosted during the Florida Chamber’s 2014 Future of Florida Forum in Orlando.
“Normally we focus on creating jobs, improving education and making Florida more competitive, but this is the type of business Florida can do without,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “I find it curious that the largest funder of this push to legalize pot is a personal injury trial lawyer firm, yet such measures are overwhelmingly opposed by Florida’s medical and law enforcement community. Florida voters are smart and when the facts are on the table, I believe they will say no to drugs in Florida.”
The Florida Chamber has a long-standing position of opposing constitutional amendments that can be addressed by the legislature in statute or in the state budget. The Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott earlier this year legalized medical marijuana to help children with seizures and Floridians with debilitating illnesses – further proof that this issue can be handled by the legislature.
“Amendment 2 is riddled with loopholes,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “It is projected that more than 1,700 dispensaries will open across the state of Florida, forever damaging our state’s reputation as a family-friendly environment and negatively affecting the quality of life that Floridians enjoy in our state every day. Do you really want Bob Marley’s pot shop down the street instead of a Walgreens?”
“The legalization of marijuana has the potential to destroy Florida’s sterling reputation as a family-friendly and business-friendly state,” said Commissioner Adam Putnam. “Not only does this poorly written amendment give anyone with as much as a headache access to this gateway drug, the legalization of marijuana would severely impact small businesses and corporations alike. As we are making our way out of the greatest recession in decades, the last thing we need is to create a climate that will decrease productivity and increase risk for businesses.”
Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.