MIAMI — With agriculture accounting for 20,000 jobs and a $2.7 billion impact on the economy of Miami-Dade County, commissioners have agreed to conduct a study on the impact on this economy from possible legalization of marijuana.
The County Commission, at its meeting May 6, approved a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, whose South Miami-Dade district is heavily agricultural.
The impetus came from a last-minute debate in the recent Legislative session which ended with a decision to place limited legalization of marijuana in Florida for medicinal purposes on the 2014 ballot.
Several bills were filed for consideration during the session to allow for a constitutional referendum on legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
In addition, as the resolution notes, between 57 and 82 percent of Florida voters support passage of the proposed amendment, known as “Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions” which must garner at least 60 percent of the votes to become law.
If the referendum is approved, medical use of marijuana for Floridians with certain ailments will be allowed, as determined by a Florida doctor.
The commission “should be prepared for the possibility that medical marijuana is legalized and its potential effect on
agricultural areas,” the resolution states.
It directs the mayor to conduct a study to assess the potential impacts of such a development and to provide a report within 60 days.
The resolution takes effect May 16 unless vetoed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
“I sponsored this legislation in response to state bills that were filed and subsequently approved by the House and Senate during the 2014 legislative session,” Moss said in a satement. “I feel that it would be in the county’s best interest to understand the potential effects on agricultural areas.”