Amendment 2 Opposition Spotlights Conservative Hypocrisy

VOTE-YES-ON-2Proposed Amendment 2 to decriminalize medical marijuana in Florida is apparently lagging in the polls.  Much of the opposition is coming from Conservatives.

The Amendment would not restore Floridians’ privacy-related right to grow and use natural substances on our own personal responsibility (the Amendment specifically says it won’t change recreational pot use laws).  But it would at least allow sick Floridians the option of a natural, cheap treatment in place of overpriced hospitals and chemical drugs.

So why’s anybody against it?

If there’s one basic axiom you can always rely on to connect dots, it’s “Follow the Money.”

Here at The Panhandle Politico, we weren’t surprised to see the Pensacola paper urging voters to oppose Amendment 2.  That publication has evinced no discernible interest in either Following Money or Connecting Dots for quite some time.  But then, nobody’s accusing them of being “journalists” to begin with.

That publication does, however, feature a healthy selection of medical and pharmaceutical industry-related advertising.

Which brings us to the question corporate media avoid:  Who benefits from sending you to jail for exercising your personal (or as Conservatives like to say CONSTITUTIONAL) right to use substances you think are best for you?

Number One are the medical and pharmaceutical industries.  To the tune of billions in pain medication, mood enhancing drugs, physical therapy sessions, psychiatric treatment and anything else they can cram onto your bill.  Needless to say, The Florida Medical Association opposes Amendment 2.

Number Two:  The prison industry makes billions, mostly tax dollars, off incarcerating nonviolent American citizens for small infractions.  The younger they are when they come in, the more salaries, benefits, retirements, overpriced equipment, food, medical care and other contracts the system can leech off their (and our tax dollar) backs.  Especially if corrupt elected officials can pass laws with long “mandatory minimum” sentencing for activities that pose little threat to the community.  After all, who else is going to fill all those shiny new prison cells we taxpayers bought…banking industry fraudsters and Wall St. thieves?

Number Three:  Policing forces, including the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, Homeland Security, State and local forces and affiliated contractors; who get massive amounts of (tax dollar) funding and equipment to “combat” drugs.  The police can take your property in a “drug raid” and keep it for themselves.  They can shoot your dog.  Good luck getting reimbursed if they accidentally broke the wrong house’s door down.  They can shoot you for accidentally dangling keys when you put your hands up while looking for a cigarette IN YOUR CAR IN YOUR DRIVEWAY (or as Conservatives like to say, Exercising your God-Given CONSTITUTIONAL Property Rights).  At the end of the day, the so-called “Drug War” has greatly expanded policing and placed unprecedented power into their hands…which evokes another adage:  power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  How much power do we Americans want a militarized police to have over our daily lives?

Number Four:  Drug gangs, who make far more on the street than they would if contraband substances were legal.

Number Five:  Terrorists, who make far more selling drugs in a black market economy than they would in a legalized environment.

Of course, the above interest groups would be out of luck without the longstanding support of another special group who benefit from stealing your personal freedom:  Number Six:  Conservative hypocrites who vote to continue the “Drug War” on every front.

But what’s the gain?  Why do Conservatives allow themselves to be played for fools over the very same government encroachment that has them screaming in my face when it involves public service spending?  Why do they oppose decriminalization and support the “Drug War” despite the fact that it taps every bogeyman in the Conservative House of Horrors?”

It squanders billions in untraceable tax dollars.

It expands the power of the Federal Government to Orwellian levels.

It interferes with Personal Freedom.

It interferes with States’ Rights.

It interferes with Individual Responsibility.

It interferes with every part of the CONSTITUTION’S Bill of Rights, from Free Speech to Search and Seizure to Powers not Delegated to the Federal Government

Could it be an issue of drugs’ potential harm to users?  Surely if that were the case, we’d see Conservatives demanding quality affordable health care as part of their vast concern for Other People’s Welfare.  And that definitely ain’t happening.  It must be something else…

To sort things out let’s start with a rhetorical question that’s been floating around since the first caveman decided the prettiest cavewomen should not be allowed to associate outside the hut:  Why does it seem that “Conservatives” only concern themselves with “Small Government” and “Liberty” when it suits their own personal morality?

Marijuana has a long association with youth culture and the party scene.  And when it comes to those topics, a significant Conservative voting block appears to have adopted the credo:  “If I ain’t getting any then neither are you.”  In fact, I can think of one or two whole religions built on that precept.

It seems that in the Conservative version of “liberty,” one person’s “freedom” is another’s “immorality.”

Evidently, “stepping all over somebody else’s individual choices because I don’t approve of them” is what Conservative voters get from the Drug War.  Let’s all wrap ourselves in the flag and blather about “Constitutional Freedoms” as long as nobody else enjoys a party I wasn’t invited to!

Where’s the beet-faced “Town Hall” frothing over “Drug War” infringement on “powers reserved to the States” 10th Amendment rights…not to mention 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1?  Where’s the teary-face red, white and blue love for Free-Market self-medication Personal Responsibility (except alcohol and tobacco, which enrich the right people).  Where’s the “Don’t Tread on Me” rhetoric over the police taking our stuff?  Where are the radio station call in’s lambasting all the Americans locked up for nonviolent, minor crimes on our “Drug War” dime?

We know who benefits from endless Drug Wars.  We also know all too well who gets shafted.

As always, it’s the silent majority who slog to a lousy job in a One Percent-ruined economy only to hand back most of our pay for shock troops and machines to stick it to us again.

It’s not Conservatives’ problem if the giant chunk government takes from your crappy paycheck buys fat salaries, benefits, weapons and equipment to fight a “Drug War” nobody who’s not profiting from it cares about.  It’s not their problem if the economy will continue to stink for the rest of YOUR future because prison and military industrial complex welfare is more important than job-generating infrastructure.  It’s not their problem if half a generation gets locked up for nothing.  Young women, next time you decide not to vote you might want to think about the fact that they’re mostly nabbing men your age.  It’s not Conservatives’ problem when out of control police forces turn “anti-personnel” “crowd control” machines on YOU once their enemies list runs dry.


You see, “Constitutional Freedoms” only count when they’re about me, me, me!


Vote YES on Amendment 2 and let’s bring Florida one step closer to eliminating other people’s “Drug Wars.”  And the countless lives and billions of dollars wasted along with them.


And Conservatives, if you can’t maintain the courage of your convictions when it comes to decriminalizing Other People’s Choices, at least stay out of everybody else’s personal decisionmaking process.  Just leave that one blank.  The rest of us value our Liberty.


  • Mark Clabaugh says:

    This Amendment is the worst thing that can happen to the State of Florida. Designed as a backdoor effort to legalize Marijuana in Florida the fact is will increase issues ranging from insurance, car insurance to widespread health issues. In Colorado and Washington where Pot has been legalized it has caused a multitude of problems which have been reported widely.

    I have 2 children at the University of Florida in Engineering programs and one at IB in a highly competitive and challenging college prep program and I can assure you that they cannot afford to be stoned or waste brain cells on Pot. NOR would I ever support that. It is plain stupid. Is this REALLY what we want for our Florida youth? Our future? You want to be a pothead, head out west I am sure you will enjoy Colorado.

    In addition, I think that most would agree that they are not interested in their surgeons, doctors, engineers, pilots, train engineers, ship captains, nurses, EMTs, Nuclear Power Plant operators, or anyone else holding a position that potentially has lives at stake high on pot at any time.

    So, let me ask you — who is it ok or not ok for? If it is so good for you, would you want the surgeon about to conduct a heart transplant high on pot? Not any more than I would want him/her drunk.

    Here is some “healthy” reading for you. There is plenty more I can assure you.

    And this one from Dr Gupta’s channel CNN

    And here are 2 deaths related to recreational use in Colorado. The poster child state for the pot head revolution.

    Legalized Pot is NOT what we want for Florida! In Colorado there are more traffic fatalities, drug problems, deaths, etc related to Marijuana. You can find issues with Colorado’s law all day long that are not welcome in Florida. Even our company does not entertain resumes from Colorado as we cannot afford to have high individuals working with our clients on site. Furthermore, they have to be able to pass a drug screening not only for our company but for the client sites they are working on.

    This Amendment is nothing more than a back door attempt at trying to desensitize and legalize pot in Florida. In this rare instance, I agree with the PNJ and others that we should vote NO!

    This is from CNN of all places

  • Deborah says:

    Which “multitude of problems” have been “reported widely” in Colorado and Washington?

    I believe you missed the point. It’s none of your business what other people choose to medicate themselves with. Per the Constitution, per every other basic tenet Conservatives say they stand for.

    You are using the same argument Liberals use to push gun control.

  • Mark Clabaugh says:

    You should lay off the Bambalacha a little and read the articles I provided to you. AND… it is my business when I have to pay for it through higher taxes and insurance. I am tired pf paying for the poor choices of others who don’t care because I am paying for the their ride through life.

    This has been and continues to be the problem with support on these type of measures. They are not really for the sick, they are a backdoor to legalization or worse so loosely written that anyone can get around it. In this case, you do not even need a prescription!!! How insane is that.

    I have no problem with this measure as I stated before, it is nothing more than a backdoor to legalization. You can already see the potheads salivating over how they can get recommended, NOT A PRESCRIPTION, but some fool to say … oh you have an ingrown toenail so get some pot!!! It is just that crazy.

    Now your first reaction is to say “that won’t happen”, well it does. Doctors are prosecuted all the time for running pill mills SO…. what on earth makes you think that a less regulated, non-prescription effort to dispense marijuana will go and different or better. In fact, this not even much over site on who can “recommend” marijuana.

    This IS NOT about medical marijuana, this is about backdoor legalization. EVEN THE AMENDMENT’s LARGEST SUPPORTER HAS ADMITTED SO!!!

    It is just another vice to bring down society which we do not need more of.

    Lastly honey … I already pay way too much taxes paying for people’s poor choices. Legalized Marijuana will drive up auto insurance (already has in Colorado), Drive up Health Insurance, drive up healthcare costs. Let me ask, while you are sitting on your front porch stoned with your buddies, one of you gets hurt, do you want a pothead for your doctor?

    With that being said, are you even remotely aware of how competitive school is now for getting into engineering, medicine, research, biology, marine sciences, architecture etc? Do you think that kids in IB taking A/B Calculus or AP Physics II should be high? What about their futures? Exactly what is your goal? Aren’t you remotely worried about the futures of our next generation? Our future economies? Our Future Work Forces? For that matter, we are about to bring in an Aerospace company that rebuilds and overhauls commercial aircraft? Do you want the Air Frame Mechanics or Engine Mechanics high? Would you climb onto that plane?

    It is always the problem that the small group that wants legalized drugs already have no respect for theirs or anyone else’s future. They are not interested in what people pay in taxes and insurance because by large part — they are not.


  • Deborah says:

    Mark I personally wouldn’t plan to use pot recreationally. My problem is the civil rights violation and expense of persecuting other people about their private decisions.

    Thank you for affirming the point of the article (which I think you didn’t read) that the “problem” is a “small group” who want to impose their personal morality on everybody else’s Constitutional freedoms.

    So much for neutral Constitutional principles. You reinforce that Conservatives prefer to pick and choose which “liberties” everybody gets to enjoy. It’s the very definition of hypocrisy.

    There are lots of activities that harm people’s “futures” we can target while we’re at it.

    Let’s start with eating pork and beef, which cause all kinds of expensive, insurance-jacking heart disease. Then there’s sugar. Alcohol. Tobacco. I seem to recall lots of Conservative frothing at the mouth at Michelle Obama’s mere suggestion maybe school lunches could healthier.

    Anti-Second Amendment liberals will try to slip gun control under the same rubric.

    You’re accelerating down a slippery slope because you are in the wrong.

    Individual American citizens’ personal medication choices are none of your business, morally or Constitutionally.

  • Mark Clabaugh says:

    Deborah, the problem IS the Amendment and how it is devised. It was written, designed and developed by those who WANT very loose controls over medical marijuana. It was specifically written to prevent over sight and controls. The people who wants this do not care about patients, they care about eventually legalizing marijuana in the State of Florida. They want almost unfettered access in the disguise of medical marijuana.

    Imagine, you are a deputy, someone in a park full of kids is smoking marijuana. Under HIPPA laws the law enforcement officer cannot ask or request his medical documents without a subpoena or HIPPA release!! THIS IS A REALITY OF THIS AMENDMENT!!! Now, how do you enforce drug laws when you cannot discern if they are smoking legally or not? YOU CAN’T and worse … you cannot regulate to the contrary of the Amendment.

    Now I ask you, is that by design?

    The reasoning that an amendment is wrong for this is; if you have an Amendment, then laws passed to regulate MUST pass constitutional tests. Therefore, if you make a law that exceeds the amendment, for example licensed doctor issuing a prescription, then you are violating the constitution and the law will be overturned. Likewise, you can have a felon convicted of trafficing Marijuana as a care provider … SERIOUSLY… now if you pass a law that excludes, then again it fails the constitutional test.

    While you and others are out there screaming at the top of your lungs … oh they are denying “medicine” to the sick… you are not looking at the true motives behind this Amendment and why this amendment is so bad for Florida. It is the wrong vehicle for passing the use of medical marijuana.

    You are mistaken if you think that I am against medication, or solid medical science. I am not. IF and I say IF there is solid, reputable science behind the use of Marijuana to alleviate symptoms, cure illnesses etc. Then in some form we should allow patients access. That is my position.

    On the other hand if you think that I am going to support the dispensing of a dangerous drug by non-doctors, not requiring a prescription or managed by drug felons etc…. then you are mistaken.

    So, while I may agree with the legitimate science based used of marijuana when applicable. I vehemently disagree with the passage of this amendment and suggest everyone VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 2.

  • Deborah says:

    Mark, you’re all over the place.

    My point is simple.

    Conservatives are hypocrites when it comes to demanding “liberty” for all.

    There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that illegalizes marijuana or any other drug. NOTHING.

    “Drug War” criminalization and policing violate every part of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

    Conservatives piss and moan about stuff like EPA regulations and healthy school lunch laws they say violate the Constitution.

    But when it comes to something that threatens Conservative personal moral preferences, they’re all over squashing individual liberty.

    Once again, very simply,

    It’s none of your business.

  • Mark Clabaugh says:

    Deborah, your last comment is the the Poster Child for why we have laws in this country. I do not think you should have the right to drag down society, then expect society to pay for your poor choices. While you are touting, it is my constitutional right you are not paying the bills.

    Using your logic, it should be legal for people to rob banks. Run into a theater and scream fire, or do what ever else they please. It is not the case.

    Drugs endanger those that take them as well as those around them. I can tell you that people on drugs endanger the lives of others especially children. Drugs ruin lives, ruin futures and drag society down as a whole. Those strung out cannot perform at the level they need to, if they have high impact jobs then they also endanger customers, co-workers, etc.

    Yes, constitutionally we can enact laws and while the constitution as framed by our forefathers does not specifically deny your right to go out and buy and snort up or smoke pot… IT CERTAINLY DOES allow for us to create laws, enforce laws that are deemed in the best interest of our country and her citizens.

    What amazes me more about your logic is this, why haven’t we had drug laws overturned in the State and US appellate courts or Supreme courts? Could it be that the constitution does not support your theory or thesis?

    Therefore, my argument is solid that this Amendment, Amendment 2 is written in such a way as to backdoor a drug policy that is impossible to enforce adequately. In addition, it ensures that you cannot pass laws that violate the amendment making it a BAD choice for Florida.

    In short, you do NOT have the constitutional right to endanger yourself or others. There are laws that govern our behavior and to protect us. Therefore, I hardly believe that the founding fathers envisioned the “Pursuit of Happiness” as a vehicle to grant permission to get high and endanger others.

  • Deborah says:

    Life’s risky in a free country Mark.

    That’s why we have laws in place to punish people who abuse their freedoms. Without taking away everybody else’s liberty in the process.

    Gun control people would love to take our firearms for the exact same reason you object to drug legalization. You’re helping them.

    Your Nanny State can’t manage every bit of risk life throws your way.

    The War on Drugs disaster is testament to what happens when it tries.

    Individual responsibility Mark. It’s the American Way.

  • Mark Clabaugh says:

    I can truly appreciate your libertarianism and staunch defense of people’s rights. I think that your heart is in the right place and believe it or not, I agree with you.

    However, when your perceived liberty encroaches on my safety, my taxes, insurance, cost of healthcare then it becomes a problem. Then it become a target for regulation and laws to restrict.

    Just like you have the right to free speech, but you do not have the right to go into a theater and scream “FIRE”. Same difference, you have the right to your opinion, however, you do not have the right to take a bull horn at 2am and scream it outside my door.

    In the light of self preservation, what’s in the best interest of the United States as a whole we have to at times restrict liberties and while a purist might say “hey that is wrong”, I think that those effected and in the majority might say otherwise.

    Keep in mind, the key to all laws is does it pass a constitutional test. For this reason, Amendment 2 is bad for Florida. It is written in such a way to prevent regulation. It is nothing more than a backdoor attempt at legalization. Be honest with yourself, is this the best use of Amendments in Florida?

    Imagine passing an amendment that says you can be wealthy and it is legal to get wealthy under any means possible. What then, bank robberies become legal? Growing poppy and making cocaine becomes a legal enterprise because you have the right under the Florida Constitution to be wealthy under any means.

    Talk about slippery slopes!!!

  • Deborah says:

    Safety trumps liberty.

    I understand Mark, thank you.

  • Raymond Guillory says:

    She stated that we do pay for drug use. We all pay for the police, the crime, the incarceration. The cost of fighting drug use it’s ten times the cost of actual drug use.

  • Jim Root says:

    Well defended, Deborah.

    I am also reminded that every US president since 1992 has admitted using the stuff. Maybe that explains it.

    Raymond, I understand your argument and in many respects you are right. I am, however very nervous about your linkage to health and insurance costs because that invites a dangerous and ever growing state control of all our lives. Well intentioned government mommies will hug us until out nose bleeds. I already have a mother who I love dearly. I don’t need another. Otherwise, the cost of continuing the prohibition, on a state and individual level, vastly exceeds the cost of lifting it.

    BTW, I’m a conservative and that said shall now return to my whiskey and tobacco.

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