A Democrat is running for Agriculture Commissioner and she wants oversight of medical marijuana – Orlando Weekly (blog)
Nikki Fried has spent the past three years trying to tear down barriers to getting medical marijuana to Florida patients, facing roadblocks from state health officials and lawmakers in the process. Now, a frustrated Fried is turning her advocacy into a broader platform —- she’s running for agriculture commissioner.
It’s been no secret for some time among the state’s medical-marijuana industry insiders that the Fort Lauderdale Democrat was going to enter the race. But on Tuesday, Fried formally filed qualifying papers to run for the Cabinet post, which is open as term-limited Republican Adam Putnam runs for governor.
Like many people in Florida and throughout the country, “I think that politics in government is broken. I witnessed it firsthand with the implementation of medical marijuana,” she said, referring to a constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2016.
Fried is among many critics who accuse Gov. Rick Scott’s administration of dragging its feet to put in place regulations for the state’s budding marijuana industry. Medical marijuana supporters also blame state lawmakers for creating too many obstacles to the industry and patients, such as a ban on smokable medical marijuana that a Tallahassee judge recently decided ran afoul of the constitutional amendment.
“Seventy-two percent of Floridians voted for medical marijuana in our Constitution, but the Legislature and our governor continued to block it every step of the way,” Fried, 40, said. “So I’m running