We are reaching out to candidates for seats representing Palm Beach County to ask their positions, opinions, or feelings about medical marijuana / cannabis. This page is dedicated to US FL-22. Check our event calendar for upcoming events relating to local politics.
Boyle, Kevin M. (REP)
Melton, Jessica (REP)
Mohammad, Imtiaz Ahmad (DEM)
Pruden, James L. (REP) Email Website
Reyes, Omar (NPA) Email Website
Scott, Christine (REP) Email Website
You can see the search the list of US House District candidates here.
James Pruden (Email Campaign Website) is a candidate for US FL-22 and has stated the following on medical cannabis:
As I’m sure you know, in 2016 medical use of Cannabis was legalized in Florida by way of a constitutional amendment. Many states, who have not done so already, are sure to follow. As the medical merits of this specific use seem to have advantages (according to some studies), I have no specific objection to such limited use under legitimate medical care, as authorized by Florida law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I do have some concerns as cannabis use is not without health risks and enough medical studies have not been done to assess the full impact of its use (according to the FDA, and who contends that a final determination has to be grounded in good science yet to be completed). To be clear, I do not support recreational use of the drug and I’ve seen how the “medical loophole” has been grossly abused much like the opioids problem we have experienced. This abuse is further evidenced by the “delivery method” of the drug, meaning smoking as opposed to edibles or pills. As such, I believe it is unfortunate that the restriction on smoking the drug in Florida was lifted earlier this year. It is my reasonable belief that such delivery method represents considerable health risks such as lung cancer (but medical science still needs to fully explore this). As for Federal law, you have to keep in mind that cannabis is still a controlled substance and legislators look to the FDA for guidance as opposed to them deciding to take on the role of self-appointed scientists and doctors. As such, my position is that until the FDA establishes appropriate guidelines balancing the risks with medical benefits that are adequately supported by legitimate studies, the decision to accept the unknown risks should remain a decision to be made on a state by state basis. At such time as the FDA may determine appropriate guidelines such as safe delivery methods, appropriate medical conditions warranting its use, dosing and monitoring protocols (just as with any other drug), then I would be willing to support federal legislation to support it; however, any such legislation would continue to contemplate penalties for illegal distribution and use (same as with illegal distribution and use of any other controlled medical drug).
Omar Reyes (Campaign Email Campaign Website) is a Candidate for US FL-22 and holds the following position:
Thank you for your inquiry. I fully support marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. The issue of medicinal marijuana is close to me as the caregiver to a wife with lupus. I have also met several lupus, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis patients who have found relief, without the addictive side-effects found with prescription opioid medications, through medicinal marijuana. I completely support the Marijuana Justice Act of 2019 (S.597). I also support legislation that would provide the cannabis industry with access to banking services.
Christine Scott (Campaign Email Campaign Website) is a candidate for US FL-22 and holds the following position:
Marijuana should be legal at a federal level.
American citizens should not be jailed or penalized for growing or consuming marijuana, unless consumed recklessly – think DUI or smoking areas, so others are not effected by the secondhand smoke.
It should be taxed, at a federal level, just like any other product/business/agriculture.
The taxes collected should, in part, be used toward an awareness campaign to educate the public as to the harms and side effects of marijuana similar to that of sex education, drunk driving, prescription side effects, secondhand smoke, etc. For example, people have a right to know that marijuana decreases motivation, short term memory, fertility and sperm count, and some say it is psychologically addictive.
It should be locally grown by US farmers only and small local farmers should be favored over large corporation, big pharma and monopolies.
Marijuana should not be imported.
So, to recap, I believe marijuana should be legal, that government has an obligation to inform Americans of its harmful side effects and the funds for the awareness campaign should come from the taxes received from its sales.
Further, States did not have federal authority to have, sell or legally consume marijuana, nor did suppliers have federal permission. Each business is obligated to follow federal laws and is in federal violation when choosing not to follow the law. Federal laws supersede state law. We are a Union. The violating States and businesses, in lieu of being prosecuted for breaking Federal laws, should pay the back taxes immediately which should then be used for the initial marijuana side effects awareness campaign because the education of negative side effects must begin before the federal legalization of marijuana – before the initial round of taxes are received.
Each marijuana businesses owner has not been able to cross state lines with the cash from the sale of the marijuana. As responsible business owners, marijuana distributors are aware that they owe federal taxes on the sales/revenue received and have set aside the necessary allocated funds. Any marijuana selling/growing/distribution/etc. business not in compliance with paying these back taxes should be banned from any aspect of selling, growing and/or distributing marijuana, directly or indirectly (this includes LLCs, hedge funds, mutual funds, 401ks, tech startups, small businesses, etc) for 10 years.
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