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Miami-Dade to explore possibility of marijuana farmers

@doug_hanks

With Florida lawmakers approving  limited use of medical marijuana this year, the state's largest county wants its farming industry to be ready if the door opens wider to a potential cash crop.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Dennis Moss, who represents the farm-rich southern part of the county, won passage of a resolution Tuesday instructing county staff to "assess the  the potential impacts of the legalization of medical marijuana on agricultural areas."

While the state legislature last week approved changing state law to allow limited  use of "non-euphoric" marijuana for treating seizures and other conditions, there is a larger push to legalize standard marijuana as a medical option.  

Moss' resolution said Miami-Dade "should be prepared for the possibility that medical marijuana is legalized," and he told commissioners that "this is not taking a position one way or the other on medical marijuana."

Commissioner Javier Souto, whose district includes parts of Kendall and Westchester, cast the lone dissenting vote, calling the study premature and describing the effort as too quick to embrace marijuana. 

"There was a time when cocaine was considered just a substance that didn't matter," Souto said. "We're dealing with  very difficult matters which can inflict tremendous pain and tremendous suffering and tremendous complications for our society."

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