Gary Stein: Logic goes up in smoke in Tallahassee

This kind of logic might not make sense to you. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

But to the folks in power in Tallahassee, well, it makes perfect sense. Which tells you all you need to know about your elected officials.

Many folks in Tallahassee, as you have heard, don't think citizens should have the right to smoke marijuana for medical use.

Medical marijuana, of course, has been known to ease pain, nausea and other conditions. Folks suffering from cancer and Parkinson's have used it. States around the country are seeing the obvious benefit of allowing it.

But not in Florida. Not yet, anyway (although one bill might legalize a certain strain of marijuana.)

Attorney General Pam Bondi doesn't even want Floridians to vote on the issue later this year, fighting to keep it off the ballot because of some dreck about ballot language. Other lawmakers in Tallahassee are also opposed to the medical marijuana idea.

Interesting.

Because at the same time, our esteemed lawmakers not only want to make it easier for you to get fireworks, they want to make sure you can legally buy fireworks that can be harmful, cause fires or injuries, and do other damage.

Right now, only sparklers are legal in Florida, but that figures to change. Last week, a Senate committee (over the opposition of the state Fire Chiefs Association) supported a bill that basically will allow you to legally buy bottle rockets, Roman candles and all sorts of other fireworks currently banned by the state.

Think about that.

Medical marijuana, which can help ease pain and bring people relief, is a no-go as of now.

Bottle rockets and other fireworks that can hurt kids and cause pain and suffering — those things very well will be fine and dandy in Florida.

Like I said, you make sense of it, because I can't. Although, going out on a limb, I would say our conservative legislators know that marijuana doesn't play well with their base, but fireworks — ah, that makes you a real American.

Part of the reasoning appears to be that people buy illegal fireworks by lying, claiming they are for agricultural use, so why not just make them legal?

By that logic, hey, underage kids lie all the time to try and get alcohol. So let's just make booze legal at, say, age 14. That way you wouldn't have to lie.

There is also the idea that people who want the heavy-duty fireworks can buy them legally in Alabama, so why not make them legal here and keep the money in Florida.

Again, by that logic, if Alabama allowed its citizens to buy 10 submachine guns and rocket launchers, Florida should do the same so the gun nuts would spend their money here.

You want to know what would make our legislators look smart? I'm so glad you asked.

Instead of letting you buy fireworks that fly all over the place, they should close loopholes that, for example, let fireworks be sold to farms to scare off birds. People sign waivers saying that's why they're buying them, and before you know it, you have fireworks all over the neighborhood.

Yeah, I know. I'm a spoilsport. I don't like fireworks.

Actually, I like fireworks, but not in the neighborhood. I think the big shows run by cities are terrific. When neighbors start trying to outdo each other with fireworks — all the way up to the grand finale — that's when I say fireworks have no place in urban areas. It wouldn't bother me one bit if all fireworks were banned other than city-run displays.

Obviously, I wouldn't make a good Florida elected official.

They think it's okay for citizens to light up bottle rockets, make noise and risk injuries to people.

But lighting up medical marijuana to get some kind of relief from pain and suffering — ah, that's dangerous. Can't have that.

Kind of makes you wonder what they're smoking in Tallahassee.

Gary Stein can be reached at gstein@sunsentinel.com, or 954-356-4616. On Twitter@SSEditorial.

 

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