State of Florida Archives: on Drugs


Rocky De La Fuente: Focus on opioids rather than marijuana

Q: Would you support lifting the federal ban on recreational marijuana?

De La Fuente: : Yes

Q: Explain your position on lifting the recreational marijuana ban.

De La Fuente: Need to focus on opioid epidemic or opioid crisis

Source: Palm Beach Post on 2018 Florida Senate race Nov 1, 2018

Andrew Gillum: legalize marijuana, and tax it

Q: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Ron DeSantis (R): No. Opposes recreational use. Will implement will of the voters on medical.

Andrew Gillum (D): Yes. "Legalize it. Tax it. Use the revenues to fix Florida's public schools."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Governor race Oct 9, 2018

Ron DeSantis: No recreational marijuana; let voters decide medical usage

Q: Legalize or decriminalize marijuana?

Ron DeSantis (R): No. Opposes recreational use. Will implement will of the voters on medical.

Andrew Gillum (D): Yes. "Legalize it. Tax it. Use the revenues to fix Florida's public schools."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Governor race Oct 9, 2018

Philip Levine: Combat the opioid epidemic by expanding Medicaid

Too many lives are claimed by these deadly drugs. One of the most effective ways to combat the opioid epidemic: expand Medicaid [which facilitates opioid treatment and medication].. If I'm honored to be elected Governor, that's exactly what we'll do here in Florida. We must take care of our people.
Source: Twitter posting on 2018 Florida Gubernatorial race Aug 12, 2018

Andrew Gillum: Marijuana isn't a gateway drug

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Marijuana is a gateway drug"?

A: Oppose--Mayor Gillum believes that we need to legalize marijuana and end the harsh penalties for low-level possession. He wants to invest that revenue in our public schools, students, and teachers, including a pay raise for all public school teachers and staff.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Florida Governor candidate Jun 15, 2018

Edward Janowski: Ridiculous to consider marijuana a gateway drug

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Marijuana is a gateway drug"?

A: This has ALWAYS been the most ridiculous statement I have heard my entire life. While the marijuana plant does have certain properties that can cause a euphoric mood. There are more benefits from the plant and its cousin than detrimental effects. I don't˙recommend unregulated usage, it should be treated much in the same way as alcohol is.˙Only at a state level and not federally.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Florida Senate candidate Mar 30, 2018

Andrew Gillum: Focus on opioid epidemic as medical issue

Comprehensively attack the opioid crisis is part of my plan for Floridians' health care by creating a statewide task force of law enforcement, first responders, and mental health and patient advocates. Restore the $11 million cut in state mental health funding, create opioid intervention courts, and work with our Congressional delegation to secure more federal funding. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past in addressing this deadly drug crisis.
Source: Florida Politics op-ed for 2018 Florida gubernatorial race Jul 27, 2017

Marco Rubio: Prove medical benefits to FDA before legalizing marijuana

Q: On Marijuana: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?

Murphy: Voted for related bills like rights of states to choose, access to banking for marijuana businesses, access for veterans. Supports legislation that protects businesses and individuals in states where marijuana has been legalized, including permission for Veterans Affairs to recommend marijuana treatment to veterans in states that allow its therapeutic use.

Rubio: Opposes legalization. Backs federal override of state laws. Might consider low-THC strains for limited medical conditions. Rubio supports first requiring an FDA process and proven medical benefits; will continue to oppose legalization or decriminalization; supports enforcement of federal laws over state laws.

Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Florida Senate race Oct 9, 2016

Patrick Murphy: Let states decide marijuana legalization

Q: On Marijuana: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?

Murphy: Voted for related bills like rights of states to choose, access to banking for marijuana businesses, access for veterans. Supports legislation that protects businesses and individuals in states where marijuana has been legalized, including permission for Veterans Affairs to recommend marijuana treatment to veterans in states that allow its therapeutic use.

Rubio: Opposes legalization. Backs federal override of state laws. Might consider low-THC strains for limited medical conditions. Rubio supports first requiring an FDA process and proven medical benefits; will continue to oppose legalization or decriminalization; supports enforcement of federal laws over state laws.

Source: CampusElect Voter Guide to 2016 Florida Senate race Oct 9, 2016

Alan Grayson: Exempt high-CBD/low-THC medical marijuana from Drug War

The two leading Democrats vying to replace Rubio support marijuana law reform. Congressmen Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy have both consistently voted for House amendments to prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. And last year, they both supported an amendment to protect all state marijuana laws, including ones covering recreational use, from federal attacks.

Murphy has co-sponsored standalone legislation protecting people complying with state marijuana laws from federal drug laws and allowing military veterans to get medical marijuana recommendations through the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also signed on to bills to allow marijuana businesses to bank and be treated more fairly under the tax code.

Grayson has co-sponsored legislation to exempt high-CBD/low-THC medical marijuana preparations from the Controlled Substances Act.

Source: Marijuana.com on 2016 Florida Senate race Jun 13, 2016

Patrick Murphy: Protect people complying with state marijuana laws from feds

The two leading Democrats vying to replace Rubio support marijuana law reform. Congressmen Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy have both consistently voted for House amendments to prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. And last year, they both supported an amendment to protect all state marijuana laws, including ones covering recreational use, from federal attacks.

Murphy has co-sponsored standalone legislation protecting people complying with state marijuana laws from federal drug laws and allowing military veterans to get medical marijuana recommendations through the Department of Veterans Affairs. He also signed on to bills to allow marijuana businesses to bank and be treated more fairly under the tax code.

Grayson has co-sponsored legislation to exempt high-CBD/low-THC medical marijuana preparations from the Controlled Substances Act.

Source: Marijuana.com on 2016 Florida Senate race Jun 13, 2016

Augustus Invictus: Abolishing the DEA is a start to end war on drugs

I want to destroy the DEA and put them out of work like they did to me and my friends when we worked at the pharmacy. But as far as the war on drugs is concerned, ending the DEA and repealing the Controlled Substances Act are just two of the steps. The real problem is that the pharmaceutical companies control our legislature. The pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists just spend disgusting amounts of money pushing this legislation through.
Source: The Libertarian Republic on 2016 Florida Senate race Apr 1, 2016

Adam Putnam: Opposes marijuana legalization as a gateway drug

Putnam said, "The legalization of marijuana has the potential to destroy Florida's sterling reputation as a family-friendly and business-friendly state. Not only does this poorly written amendment give anyone with as much as a headache access to this gateway drug, the legalization of marijuana would severely impact businesses. As we are making our way out of the recession, the last thing we need is to create a climate that will decrease productivity and increase risk for businesses."
Source: FLchamber.com on 2018 Florida gubernatorial race Oct 1, 2014

Rick Scott: OpEd: Requiring drug testing for welfare is unconstitutional

In 2010, Rick Scott pushed for a law requiring Floridians receiving welfare funds to prove they were drug-free in order to qualify for assistance. This is the kind of loaded issue that motivates the "right" people to go out and vote. The target audience consists of those who have worked hard all their lives, who feel entitled to keep what's theirs, and who resent a government that would take their wealth & redistribute it to others.

A federal district judge ruled that Scott's law was unconstitutional: Blanket drug testing without probable cause amounts to illegal search and seizure. In this ruling, no shades of gray distinguish between rich and poor.

The State of Florida actually lost money on this misbegotten scheme.

Scott says he will appeal the decision. Is he so thick-headed that he doesn't understand he's on the wrong side of the law and good financial sense, or is he proceeding in order to continue ingratiating himself with the "right" voters?

Source: Sun-Sentinel OpEd on 2014 Florida gubernatorial race Jan 5, 2014

ACLU: Oppose mandatory drug testing of state employees

HB 1205: Requires drug testing to be conducted within each state agency's appropriation; authorizes agencies within state government to require employees to submit to periodic random drug testing.

Analysis by ACLU Florida: The legislature took it upon itself to expand the Drug-Free Workplace Program to mandate random, suspicionless drug testing for state employees on a rotating basis. Each state agency can choose whether to participate in the program as it will have to find the funds to do so, i.e. pay for the drug tests, in its current allotted budget. If an employee fails the drug test, he/she must attend a˙rehab program or face disciplinary action or discharge.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-3 on Mar/2/12; Passed Senate 26-14-0 on Mar/9/12; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on Mar/19/12

Source: Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1205 Mar 19, 2012

Rick Scott: Require random, mandatory drug testing of state employees

HB 1205: Requires drug testing to be conducted within each state agency's appropriation; authorizes agencies within state government to require employees to submit to periodic random drug testing.

Analysis by ACLU Florida: The legislature took it upon itself to expand the Drug-Free Workplace Program to mandate random, suspicionless drug testing for state employees on a rotating basis. Each state agency can choose whether to participate in the program as it will have to find the funds to do so, i.e. pay for the drug tests, in its current allotted budget. If an employee fails the drug test, he/she must attend a˙rehab program or face disciplinary action or discharge.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-3 on Mar/2/12; Passed Senate 26-14-0 on Mar/9/12; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on Mar/19/12

Source: ACLU Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1205 Mar 19, 2012

Rick Scott: Random drug testing of state employees

Excerpts from Florida Legislative archives:

Status:Bill passed House, 80-37-2; passed Senate, 29-10-1. (Mike Haridopolos voted YEA).

Source: Florida legislative voting records: HB 1205 Mar 19, 2012

Darren Soto: Oppose mandatory drug testing of state employees

HB 1205: Requires drug testing to be conducted within each state agency's appropriation; authorizes agencies within state government to require employees to submit to periodic random drug testing.

Analysis by ACLU Florida: The legislature took it upon itself to expand the Drug-Free Workplace Program to mandate random, suspicionless drug testing for state employees on a rotating basis. Each state agency can choose whether to participate in the program as it will have to find the funds to do so, i.e. pay for the drug tests, in its current allotted budget. If an employee fails the drug test, he/she must attend a˙rehab program or face disciplinary action or discharge.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-3 on Mar/2/12; Passed Senate 26-14-0 on Mar/9/12; State Senator Darren Soto voted YES: Signed by Governor Rick Scott on Mar/19/12

Source: ACLU Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1205 Mar 9, 2012

Mike Haridopolos: Require random, mandatory drug testing of state employees

HB 1205: Requires drug testing to be conducted within each state agency's appropriation; authorizes agencies within state government to require employees to submit to periodic random drug testing.

Analysis by ACLU Florida: The legislature took it upon itself to expand the Drug-Free Workplace Program to mandate random, suspicionless drug testing for state employees on a rotating basis. Each state agency can choose whether to participate in the program as it will have to find the funds to do so, i.e. pay for the drug tests, in its current allotted budget. If an employee fails the drug test, he/she must attend a˙rehab program or face disciplinary action or discharge.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-3 on Mar/2/12; Passed Senate 26-14-0 on Mar/9/12; State Senator Mike Haridopolos voted YES: Signed by Governor Rick Scott on Mar/19/12

Source: ACLU Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1205 Mar 9, 2012

Carlos Lopez-Cantera: Require random, mandatory drug testing of state employees

HB 1205: Requires drug testing to be conducted within each state agency's appropriation; authorizes agencies within state government to require employees to submit to periodic random drug testing.

Analysis by ACLU Florida: The legislature took it upon itself to expand the Drug-Free Workplace Program to mandate random, suspicionless drug testing for state employees on a rotating basis. Each state agency can choose whether to participate in the program as it will have to find the funds to do so, i.e. pay for the drug tests, in its current allotted budget. If an employee fails the drug test, he/she must attend a˙rehab program or face disciplinary action or discharge.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-3 on Mar/2/12; State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera voted YES; Passed Senate 26-14-0 on Mar/9/12; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on Mar/19/12

Source: ACLU Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1205 Mar 2, 2012

Carlos Lopez-Cantera: Random drug testing of state employees

Excerpts from Florida Legislative archives:

Status:Bill passed House, 80-37-2; passed Senate, 29-10-1. (Carlos Lopez-Cantera voted YEA).

Source: Florida legislative voting records: HB 1205 Mar 2, 2012

Greg Steube: Require random, mandatory drug testing of state employees

HB 1205: Requires drug testing to be conducted within each state agency's appropriation; authorizes agencies within state government to require employees to submit to periodic random drug testing.

Analysis by ACLU Florida: The legislature took it upon itself to expand the Drug-Free Workplace Program to mandate random, suspicionless drug testing for state employees on a rotating basis. Each state agency can choose whether to participate in the program as it will have to find the funds to do so, i.e. pay for the drug tests, in its current allotted budget. If an employee fails the drug test, he/she must attend a˙rehab program or face disciplinary action or discharge.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-3 on Mar/2/12; State Rep. Greg Steube voted YES; Passed Senate 26-14-0 on Mar/9/12; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on Mar/19/12

Source: ACLU Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1205 Mar 2, 2012

Greg Steube: Random drug testing of state employees

Excerpts from Florida Legislative archives:

Status:Bill passed House, 80-37-2; passed Senate, 29-10-1. (Greg Steube voted YEA).

Source: Florida legislative voting records: HB 1205 Mar 2, 2012

Matt Gaetz: Require random, mandatory drug testing of state employees

HB 1205: Requires drug testing to be conducted within each state agency's appropriation; authorizes agencies within state government to require employees to submit to periodic random drug testing.

Analysis by ACLU Florida: The legislature took it upon itself to expand the Drug-Free Workplace Program to mandate random, suspicionless drug testing for state employees on a rotating basis. Each state agency can choose whether to participate in the program as it will have to find the funds to do so, i.e. pay for the drug tests, in its current allotted budget. If an employee fails the drug test, he/she must attend a˙rehab program or face disciplinary action or discharge.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 79-37-3 on Mar/2/12; State Rep. Matt Gaetz voted YES; Passed Senate 26-14-0 on Mar/9/12; Signed by Governor Rick Scott on Mar/19/12

Source: ACLU Analysis of Florida legislative voting record HB 1205 Mar 2, 2012

Rick Scott: Drug courts & alternatives to incarceration

I support the death penalty for heinous crimes and alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders --such as drug courts.
Source: Florida Gubernatorial 2010 PVS Political Courage Test Nov 3, 2010

Al Franken: Admitted drug use during days as TV comedian

In June 2007, Franken was punched by a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about his drug use during his time on Saturday Night Live. The article was triggered by a 5-paragraph item on a Star Tribune political gossip blog called "The Big Question."

The next day, that Star Tribune blog post developed into a full-blown story in the newspaper bearing the headline, "Candidates' Past Use of Illegal Substances Surfaces." It devoted more words to Franken's admitted drug use during his Saturday Night Live years than to Coleman's inhaling, [including] rehashed information to which Franken had years ago admitted, including cocaine and LSD use. How did that happen?

Star Tribune editors gulped, felt pressured to re-craft the web post into a "balanced" 15-paragraph story that incorporated historical information about Franken, with bows to Coleman's smoking past and Mike Ciresi's pot dabbling.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 69 Sep 16, 2010

Al Franken: Wrote two movies about drug addiction and its horrors

The Minneapolis Star Tribune [wrote a 2007 article series about Franken's] drug use during his time on Saturday Night Live, [including] rehashed information to which Franken had years ago admitted, including cocaine and LSD use. How did that happen?

Star Tribune editors re-crafted the web post into a "balanced" 15-paragraph story that incorporated historical information about Franken, with bows to Coleman's smoking past and Mike Ciresi's pot dabbling.

No mention was made that since his SNL days, where drug use was rampant among cast and crew, Franken had written two movies about addiction and its horrors. His wife, Franni, had struggled with alcoholism. Drugs were no longer a laughing matter to Franken.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 69-70 Sep 16, 2010

Mike Ciresi: 2007: acknowledged past marijuana dabbling

In June 2007, Al Franken was punched by a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about his drug use during his time on Saturday Night Live. The article was triggered by a 5-paragraph item on a Star Tribune political gossip blog called "The Big Question." A full-blown story in the newspaper bore the headline, "Candidates' Past Use of Illegal Substances Surfaces." It devoted more words to Franken's admitted drug use during his Saturday Night Live years than to Coleman's inhaling, [including] rehashed information to which Franken had years ago admitted, including cocaine and LSD use. How did that happen?

Star Tribune editors gulped, felt pressured to re-craft the web post into a "balanced" 15-paragraph story that incorporated historical information about Franken, with bows to Coleman's smoking past and Mike Ciresi's pot dabbling.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 69-70 Sep 16, 2010

Norm Coleman: Opposed to legalizing marijuana despite past usage

In June 2007, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that a former college pal of Coleman's at New York's Hofstra University posted an open letter on a pro-marijuana website detailing Coleman's pot smoking while in college in the 1960's. The letter writer, a marijuana rights activist, challenged Coleman's 21st-century position as a senator opposed to legalizing marijuana. Coleman's hippie past as a rock music roadie had been chronicled, and a joint here or there didn't prevent him from running for other public offices or working for the Minnesota attorney general's office for 15 years.

The next day, the Star Tribune headlined, "Candidates' Past Use of Illegal Substances Surfaces." It devoted more words to Franken's admitted drug use during his Saturday Night Live years than to Coleman's inhaling.

How did that happen? Star Tribune editors felt pressured to re-craft a "balanced" story that incorporated historical information about Franken, with bows to Coleman's smoking past.

Source: This Is Not Florida, by Jay Weiner, p. 69-70 Sep 16, 2010

Alexander Snitker: No mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs

Q: Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?

A: No.

Q: Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders<

Source: Florida Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test Aug 11, 2010

Bernard DeCastro: Convicted of drug related crimes & pardoned after 10 years

His past is [not] perfect, but he has turned it around for the better. Bernie was convicted of drug related crimes; however, after ten years of being on parole, he was issued a full pardon by then Florida Governor, Lawton Chiles.
Source: Florida 9/12 Candidate survey, 912candidates.org Jun 30, 2009

Jeb Bush: Funding to reduce teen substance abuse and tobacco use

Teen substance abuse, including tobacco, adds tremendous stress to families and limits the futures of Florida's youth. The latest studies show that we are making significant progress in the fight against drug abuse among students, and we will continue to press forward on that issue.

Florida has also had success reducing tobacco use among our young people. Since 1998, smoking rates have declined by 57 percent among middle school students and 37 percent among high school students.

Budget constraints put this important program in jeopardy last year. This year we need to make the program, and the funding to support, it a permanent part of Florida's Department of Health. This money is important, but the real power comes from thousands of teens across our state who recognize the dangers of smoking and encourage their peers not to start.

Source: 2004 State of the State speech to the Florida Legislature Mar 2, 2004

Jeb Bush: Create a prescription drug tracking system to prevent abuse

Prescription drug abuse among adults in Florida is growing at an alarming pace, taking more lives than heroin and cocaine combined. We first noticed this trend three years ago and have been trying to take the innovative, common sense action to halt it ever since.

This year, once again, you will have the opportunity to create a prescription drug tracking system that will allow us to punish unethical providers, prevent addicts from obtaining the drugs they abuse, and protect the privacy of patients in Florida. I urge you to pass legislation to define this system, fund its creation, and help us fight prescription drug abuse in Florida.

Source: 2004 State of the State speech to the Florida Legislature Mar 2, 2004

Jeb Bush: Mandatory prison sentences for drug offenses

Source: Governor’s web site, www.MyFlorida.com, “Initiatives” Nov 7, 2001

Andy Martin: Decriminalize medicinal marijuana; end War on Drugs

Source: 2000 Florida Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Florida Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Drugs.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Drugs:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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