Make Medical Cannabis Affordable
In 2016, 71% of Florida voters overwhelming approved Amendment 2 legalizing medical cannabis in our state. Afterwards, Republicans in the legislature passed an implementing law that created a cartel-like system which led to monopolies for big cannabis industry players and prohibited small businesses from entering the cannabis economy.
Florida’s medical cannabis patients often face high prices and out-of-pocket costs to maintain legal patient status for themselves or for their child as caretakers in the program.
Carlos believes Florida should move away from the ‘vertical integration’ system and towards a free-market industry where small and minority-owned businesses can compete. Patients will see lower prices and better products as a result. Rep. Smith has fought for lower costs by cutting the $75 patient ID fee and fought to waive fees for veterans in the medical cannabis program.
Carlos has championed medical cannabis as an alternative to prescription opiates for certain patients and has opposed efforts to impose arbitrary THC caps on products. As the law was implemented in 2017, he helped secure the opening of cannabis dispensaries in Orange County. Carlos also helped to repeal the ban on smoked medical cannabis in 2019.
Legalize Cannabis for Adult Use
Prohibition never works and the marijuana prohibition has incarcerated generations of Black and brown people and cost taxpayers billions. Carlos supports full legalization of cannabis for adult use and has introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Jeff Brandes to do it in Florida.
There’s no question that our criminal justice system is broken and in need of serious reforms. Florida’s antiquated marijuana possession laws are not only costing us money, but they are ruining lives and unnecessarily filling up our state prison system. That’s why Rep. Smith introduced bills to fully decriminalize cannabis in 2017 and 2018 as well as introduced bills to legalize it for adult use in 2019 and 2020.