Proposal aims to legalize recreational marijuana

Posted at 1:49 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 13:49:55-04

A new approach to legalize marijuana is coming from a Florida attorney. He's proposing to regulate it like alcohol. 

The group 'Sensible Florida' needs one million signatures to get the "Florida Cannabis Act" on the 2016 ballot. 

The proposal aims to make buying marijuana the same as picking up a bottle of alcohol at the store. 

Attorney Michael Minardi is campaign manager. 

"We trust people with alcohol, we trust people with tobacco," said Minardi. 

He's proposing that as long as you're 21 and over, you should be able to purchase and consume a regulated amount of marijuana responsibly.

"These people who are using them [drugs] are responsible adults and they should have the choice to do that," added Minardi. 

Liquor store owner Mac Patel doesn't think it's a bad idea, but says marijuana and alcohol are not on a level playing field.  

"I don't think it's going to be at the same level. Alcohol has been around in this country for like over 100 years," added Patel, who has owned liquor stores for 15 years and runs Liquor Village off Indiantown Road. 

Minardi disagrees. He believes education can change people's perspectives. He's confident the new law would clear our jails. 

"Let's stop wasting resources. I can sit in court for hours based on a cannabis case. We have courts that are clogged, back-logged on systems, hard to get dates for hearings and things of that nature and a big part due to misdemeanor cannabis cases," added Minardi.

Miami-Dade County and Key West have eased punishments for people caught with a small amount of marijuana. West Palm Beach is considering a similar ordinance. 

To learn more about Regulate Florida, click here