Myth: If the proposed constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida is approved, it will prohibit the state legislature from regulating the “time, place, or manner” of marijuana use.

Fact: The amendment does not forbid the Florida legislature from regulating the public use of marijuana. The legislature retains the power to enact regulations that ensure clean, family-friendly public spaces, just as it does with tobacco and alcohol. See the column published by the Tampa Bay Times by attorneys John Bash and Glenn Burhans. 

Myth: If the proposed amendment were adopted, crime would increase in Florida. 

Fact: Legalization also leads to a decreased rate in gangs committing violent crimes. Violent crimes in states where marijuana was legalized have dropped 12.5%. In fact, the continued illicit market sale of marijuana perpetuates a culture of criminality. [1] 

Myth: Legalization will boost underage consumption of marijuana. 

Fact: There is no evidence that legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use at the state level has boosted underage consumption from the regulated marketplace. [2]

Myth: Legalizing recreational marijuana will harm public health.

Fact: Legalization allows for quality control and regulation, ensuring that consumers have access to safer products. Additionally, tax revenue generated from marijuana sales can be used to fund public health initiatives and education programs. [3]

Myth: Legalizing recreational marijuana will negatively impact productivity in the workplace.

Fact: responsible marijuana use can be compatible with a productive work environment. Employers can still enforce policies regarding use and impairment and ensure that employees are not under the influence while on the job. 

Myth: Legalizing recreational marijuana will hurt Florida’s economy.

Fact: Legalization has the potential to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and generate significant tax revenue. This revenue can be used to fund various public services and infrastructure projects, benefiting the community as a whole. [3] 

Based on other states’ experiences, expected retail sales of non-medical marijuana would generate at least $195.6 million annually in state and local sales tax revenues once the retail market is fully operational. [4]

Myth: Legalization will make marijuana more accessible to children.

Fact: Legalization will lead to strict regulations and potential penalties regarding the sale of marijuana to minors. In all states that have adult use sales, strict age-gating and multiple ID checkpoints throughout the sales process, are in place. In Florida, similar measures will be put in place. Additionally, regulation and education efforts can mitigate underage use.

Myth: Legalization will disproportionately harm underserved communities.

Fact: The argument overlooks the potential benefits of legalization for communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Legalization can lead to job creation, economic opportunities, and reinvestment in communities harmed by past drug policies. Additionally, equitable regulatory frameworks can ensure fair participation in the legal cannabis market. [5]

Myth: Legalization will result in unsafe roads due to marijuana-impaired driving.

Fact: While marijuana can impair driving abilities, the claim that legalization leads to significantly more impaired driving fatalities is not supported by evidence. Proper education, enforcement of impaired driving laws, and investment in public safety measures can mitigate any potential increase in marijuana-related traffic accidents. [6]

Myth: Legalization is driven by corporate interests and will benefit “Big Pot.”

Fact: While corporate interests may play a role in legalization efforts, the claim that legalization solely benefits large corporations is misleading. Legalization can create opportunities for small businesses, job creation, and tax revenue that benefit local economies. [7]


[1] Bash, John. “Here’s how Florida’s cannabis amendment balances freedom and regulation.” Tampa Bay Times. 2024. 

[2] Jacobus, Joanna, and Susan F. Tapert. “Effects of Cannabis on the Adolescent Brain.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2014

[2] Anderson, Mark. “New Estimates From the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys.” JAMA Pediatrics. 2019 

[3] Hoffer, Adam. “Cannabis Taxation: Lessons Learned from U.S. States and a Blueprint for Nationwide Cannabis Tax Policy.” Tax Foundation. 2023 

[4] FIEC. “Adult Personal Use of Marijuana.”

[5] Barcott et al. “Jobs Report 2021: Legal Cannabis Now Supports 321,000 Full-time American Jobs.” Leafly. February 2021

[6] Gonzalez-Sala et al. “Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Road Safety: A Literature Review.” National Library of Medicine. 2023 

[7] Bartlett, Lindsay. “New Report Aims To Protect Small Cannabis From Corporate Takeover.” Forbes. 2023 

Categories: Myth vs. Fact

Pd. Pol. Adv. paid by Smart & Safe Florida - 1400 Village Square Blvd, Suite #3-321, Tallahassee, FL 32312.