Perry Thurston exudes caution as Democratic attorney general candidates react to marijuana decision

Attorney General candidate Perry Thurston, a Broward Democrat, issued a cautious, nuanced statement Monday in response to the Florida Supreme Court decision allowing voters to decide in November if they want to authorize medical marijuana.

George Sheldon, his competitor for the Democratic attorney general nomination, was more direct in his statement.

Here’s Thurston’s statement, issued by the Florida House of Representatives, where he’s the Democratic Party leader. The official government statement takes a shot at Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“I think the public deserves an opportunity to vote on the issue of legalizing marijuana for medical use. I happen to think the public would be much better served by changing the law to allow law enforcement to concentrate on violent criminals, not clamping down on senior citizens in wheelchairs, parents of babies with cystic fibrosis and others whose doctors are helping them combat the suffering of serious illnesses like Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“The prescription of medical cannabis should be a matter decided between doctors and patients. The extreme efforts by Republican legislative leaders like Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and others to block voters from deciding this matter has been inappropriate. Florida needs political leaders who won’t prohibit the people from having their say.”

Here’s Sheldon’s statement, issued by his campaign:

“With today’s Florida Supreme Court ruling, thousands of patients in our State suffering from terminal illnesses became one step closer to having access to an alternative for managing their constant pain and suffering without using addictive and expensive prescriptions. 

“For too long, patients throughout Florida have been forced to use powerful and addictive opioid drugs, which all too often end up being abused. To make matters worse, these opioid-based drugs regularly end up in the hands of children and teens. We have an epidemic of abuse of prescription drugs in this state. 

“By legalizing a medicinal cannabis alternative, we provide these patients with an option that is less harmful, less expensive, and less subject to widespread abuse. 

“We need to quit devoting government resources to meddling in the lives of people who are suffering and focus our resources on making life better and more productive for the citizens of Florida.”