Clad in a flannel shirt, jeans and a Florida State University baseball cap, Doug Dixon might easily blend into the crowd almost anywhere in Tallahassee.
But the 59-year-old construction worker wound up at the center of a media frenzy this week, just for taking his medicine.
The soft-spoken Crawfordville man on Thursday became the first Floridian to legally purchase whole-flower cannabis, three days after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure that did away with the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana.
The monumental moment came more than two years after voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized pot as a treatment for patients with a wide variety of debilitating conditions.
Proponents of medical cannabis, including Dixon, believe it’s a healthier and safer alternative to addictive prescription drugs.
Dixon’s become a cannabis cheerleader of sorts: He said he talks up the benefits of medical weed to customers he’s encountered through hurricane repairs.
“I meet a lot of people who are on pills. They’re trying to get off the medication,” Dixon told reporters, after buying a quarter-ounce of smoke at a Tallahassee dispensary.
The news about cannabis is spreading, especially among older Floridians like himself, according to Dixon.