If medical marijuana passes, how would Rubio or Murphy advocate in the Senate? – Tampabay.com (blog)
If Floridians vote to legalize medical marijuana through Amendment 2 on Tuesday, the state will open its borders to a new, booming industry that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars in just a few years.
Yet federal law still categorizes marijuana as a controlled substance, though as many as 28 states and Washington, D.C., could have medical or recreational cannabis laws on the books after the election.
It’s one of the reasons marijuana advocacy groups nationwide spring into action, raising money and backing advertisements, whenever another state puts marijuana on its ballot.
“Whenever a state passes a medical marijuana law, you get two United States senators who now represent a state with a marijuana industry,” said Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, the political committee backing Amendment 2.
Both of the men vying for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat on this year’s ballot say they support medical marijuana.
Incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio voted against Amendment 2, but he has said before that he would support medical marijuana if it went through the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory process. U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, voted for the medical marijuana amendment.
But what would either of these men do on the issue in the U.S. Senate?
It’s not entirely clear. Both the Rubio and Murphy campaigns refused to make their candidates available for an interview with the Times/Herald on the subject.
In a written statement, Murphy spokeswoman Galia Slayen said the congressman supports the federal government allowing states to pass their own laws related to marijuana.
“Patrick believes the federal government should defer to states on the question of medical marijuana and should open up access to veterans who would benefit from its use,” Slayen said. “He also believes that Federal banking