Myth: Does the legalization of adult use of marijuana impact the rates of intimate partner violence?

Fact: Yes, legalizing marijuana has been associated with a significant decrease in intimate partner violence (IPV). A recent study found that recreational marijuana legalization results in 56.6 fewer reported incidents of IPV per 100,000 people. This decrease is attributed to the substitution of marijuana for alcohol, which has a stronger association with IPV. By reducing alcohol consumption, marijuana legalization indirectly lowers the incidence of IPV, providing a public health benefit that underscores the positive societal impact of legalization.

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 language of the amendment explicitly states that the Florida Legislature retains the full ability to regulate the public use of marijuana.  Additionally, the Florida Constitution itself gives the Legislature the authority to regulate and enact Constitutional Amendments.  This means that the Legislature will have the right to enact regulations that ensure clean, family-friendly public spaces, just as it does now with tobacco and alcohol.  For more information, see the following columns published by attorneys John Bash and Glenn Burhans: 12, and 3

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

Fact: Not true! Legalization has led to a decrease in gang violence and has hurt Mexican cartels which now have a smaller market in the US.[1]

Myth: Legalization will boost underage consumption of marijuana. 

Fact: Not true! According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, recreational cannabis legalization has not been associated with any increase in adolescent marijuana use and has been associated with a decrease in adolescent alcohol and e-cigarette use.[2]  Additionally, in Colorado, the first state to allow recreational cannabis sales to adults in 2013, youth marijuana use has decreased significantly since 2013.

Myth: Legalizing recreational marijuana will harm public health.

Fact: Legalization allows for quality control and regulation, ensuring that consumers have access to safer products.  Illicit market cannabis is a large unknown – consumers cannot be sure what is in their cannabis. A recent Florida House of Representatives hearing revealed that approximately 90% of illicit marijuana confiscated by law enforcement and tested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement tested positive for harmful chemicals or additives such as pesticides or other drugs like fentanyl. That is why third-party lab testing of all marijuana products sold in the state is so important to ensuring the safety of Floridians.

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

Fact: Not true.  The National Bureau of Economic Research recently found that workplace productivity rose and workers’ compensation claims decreased in states that have legalized recreational marijuana.[3]

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

Fact: According to the Florida Financial Impact Estimating Conference, tax revenues from the cannabis industry for federal and state governments are projected to reach $431 million annually if adult use of marijuana is legalized.[4]

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]






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

Categories: Myth vs. Fact

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