'It's really long overdue' Florida lawmakers push to legalize recreational marijuana
ORLANDO, Fla. - A bipartisan movement to legalize responsible marijuana use for adults 21 and older in Florida is underway.
"Well, the need to end Florida's prohibition on responsible adult use of cannabis. It's really long overdue, what we've done is we filed the bill. That creates a sensible bipartisan framework for legalization in Florida," State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith said.
Smith, a Democrat, is sponsoring the bill in the Florida House of Representatives. His co-sponsor in the Senate is Senator Jeff Brandes, a Republican.
"I could not be more proud to working with him on this," Guillermo Smith said.
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He says they’ve come up with a bill that both sides can get behind.
"We've continued the prohibition on using cannabis in public spaces. We’re asking for a study on home grow as opposed to allowing it right out of the gate, which is a concession I made," Guillermo Smith said.
Their proposed bills also allow for small businesses to enter the marijuana marketplace.
"Right now in the medical cannabis industry we really have monopolies from a lot of the big players because state law requires them to really produce it from seed to sale. They have to be the grower cultivator distributor and retailer our bill actually allows multiple license categories so smaller businesses can enter the cannabis market and they can be retailers only who import the product from other licensed growers," Guillermo Smith said.
RELATED: New law used against recreational pot proposal in Florida
FOX 35 News asked local voters what they think with many saying they think legalizing responsible marijuana use for adults is ok. One man told FOX 35 News that it’s inevitable.
"It’s happening in how many states now. It’ll be here soon," Will Grace said.
HB 343/SB 710 will be introduced when lawmakers are back in session. Count on FOX 35 News to keep you posted on updated on those bills.
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.