Philip Levine on Friday rolled out his support for recreational marijuana, saying he would push for a legal market for users at least 21 years of age and use fees generated off licensed retail sales to fund addiction services and public education.
If elected, Levine says he'd "carefully move to legalize the sale of limited quantities" of marijuana either through a bill or through a statewide ballot referendum. He says he supports "limited" possession -- but doesn't detail what that means -- and supports local control over the location, number and size of retail facilities that would hawk the drug.
Claiming licensing fees would generate $600 million for the state, Levine says he'd invest the money in substance abuse programs, marijuana research, and in public schools, which he says would receive half the new money.
"If elected Governor, I will carefully move to legalize the sale of limited quantities of recreational marijuana for adults, either through the Legislature or by a vote of the people of Florida, while learning from the many states that have already moved – or are moving -- this way," he said in the video.
Levine, who sponsored legislation that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Miami Beach when he was mayor, had already said he'd support recreational marijuana if Florida's voters demanded it. But Friday's announcement was a more affirmative step for his campaign.
He joins Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Chris King in calling for a recreational cannabis market and proposing to use fees to fund state services. Gwen Graham has said she'd support decriminalizing possession. Jeff Greene, who hasn't given any interviews since filling to run for governor Friday, hasn't explained where he stands on the issue.
Some 71 percent of Florida's voters supported a full-fledged medical marijuana market two years ago. The state is still struggling to implement that system.