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January 12, 2014

On medical marijuana, FL Republican leaders out of touch with their own rhetoric -- and GOP voters


Time and again, Florida’s Republican leaders have bashed Big Government, especially if it intrudes upon the doctor-patient relationship.

When it comes to Obamacare, that is.

But when it comes to medical marijuana, so far they’ve been all Big Government all the way.

The opposition to physicians recommending prescription cannabis isn’t just an example of political inconsistency in Tallahassee. It’s a sign that — unlike their opposition to Obamacare — GOP leaders are greatly out of step with voters, including rank-and-file Republicans.

As many as 70 percent of registered Florida Republicans said they favor medical marijuana, according to the most recent Quinnipiac University poll conducted in late November. Support was even higher among Democrats (87 percent) and independents (88 percent).

The divide between the politicians and voters is increasingly troubling to some Republicans.

“I don’t want the Republican Party to be called the anti-civil liberties party,” said Rick Wilson, a Tallahassee political consultant.

“Simply as a political hack,” he said with a touch of self-deprecating humor, “I don’t want our party to marginalize itself.”

Full column here