With the passage of Amendment 2, Florida residents with qualifying disorders are eager to purchase medical marijuana. In most of Florida, full blown dispensaries will not be able to open doors until next year. Despite Amendment 2’s passage, there are some parts of Florida where there likely will not be any medical marijuana available for sale at all. Consider that three counties in Florida still completely ban the sale of alcohol.
Even though the 21st amendment abolished prohibition nationally in 1933, in Liberty, Lafayette, and Washington counties, alcohol sales are still wholly banned. It is hard to believe that these three counties will allow medical marijuana sales. In fact, there is not a single county or even municipality in the state of Florida that allows every alcoholic beverage to be sold at every hour in every location. Needless to say, medical marijuana laws will be a patchwork of regulation, both local and statewide, which may be a headache for business owners. Patients will be forced to drive across county lines to get their medication.
Safety on the roads is a concern as well. One of the main criticisms of opponents of medical marijuana was worries about an increase of people driving under the influence. If this is a true concern, counties may want to allow marijuana to be sold more freely. In Kentucky, the plurality of counties are alcohol are dry, meaning they ban the sale of alcohol. This provides an excellent chance to study prohibition rules in a modern context. A review of Kentucky State Police records from 1995-2010, show that the number of alcohol related vehicle crashes occur at a higher rate in dry counties than their neighbors which allowed at least some alcohol sales.
It is 83 years and counting since prohibition ended nationally. Still, many believe alcohol should be completely banned. Medical marijuana is going to be a green rush for businesses in Florida, but almost certainly not in Liberty, Lafayette or Washington counties.