Coral Springs Votes to Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

By: Sharon Aron Baron

Until Florida legislation changes and medical marijuana dispensaries can be regulated of under their home rule, the Coral Springs city commission voted 3-2 to ban them.

Immediately after Amendment 2 was passed by Florida voters in November of 2016, the City of Coral Springs put a 180-day moratorium on local businesses and land use approvals for medical marijuana dispensing organizations and treatment centers due to the fact that no rules and regulations were yet established by the state. Every 180 days, the moratorium had been extended, until this week when the commission voted to quit extending the moratorium and to ban them outright.

During the first hearing held on December 20, 2017, Mayor Skip Campbell said he was totally against the state legislation leaving them with no choice where they either had to either approve it and dispensaries could go where a pharmacy could go.  He said there was a legislative session approaching where they would have an opportunity to change that. According to the Sun Sentinel, state rules adopted last year left cities with two options: Ban dispensaries outright, or regulate their locations to the same degree that pharmacies are regulated. Unlike pharmacies, though, federal rules don’t allow medical marijuana, and that fact makes it a cash-only business, which is often considered a magnet for crime.

Campbell believes they’re falling into what the legislature wants them to do:  force cities to come out and say, ‘No you can’t have them when 76 percent of the people in the state of Florida voted in favor of medical marijuana’.  

Commissioner Joy Carter said she looked at the ban more like a proactive stance until they know that it can be regulated. “I think this gives us more leverage over the moratorium because we’re not saying we can never change our minds, because we can still move forward. I think we’re in better control of the future,” said Carter.

Commissioner Larry Vignola reflected on a time when there was an increase in crime due to the pill mill situation in Broward County. “…You see some of these people lining up from out-of-town, even out-of-state license plates and some of the crime that came along with it and people coming into Coral Springs just for it. That’s my concern.  That’s why I’m in favor of going forward with the ban, and if down the road, if things change and the legislature makes it more user-friendly for the city we can go ahead and change it.

Campbell reminded the commission why medical marijuana is beneficial.  He spoke about his law partner’s son who was born with a genetic disease and was having about 150 seizures a day. His doctor told him to go to Colorado to use medical marijuana which cured his seizures. “I’ve seen that it does help people with legitimate problems.  Will you have illegitimate uses?  You’re damn right you’re going to have it.  That’s the way society’s been.”

“If at 190 days things change, we can go ahead and  make the change now.  If at 60 days from now things change we can go ahead and make the changes,” said Vignola. “ I’d rather do this. It’s less work for staff, we don’t have to keep going through the process and keep having this discussion over and over.”

Vice Mayor Cimaglia and Commissioners Carter and Vignola voted for the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. Mayor Skip Campbell and Commissioner Daley voted against the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries.

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.

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  • tj

    It is a fallacy to think that crime will increase because of dispensaries. Crimes are now being committed with the illegal purchases of pot throughout CS. I don’t understand how our city government can’t create a viable plan for regulating marijuana dispensaries in a reasonable time frame. Also, pill mills brought in people from out of state, I don’t think someone from Kentucky will drive to CS to buy a half oz of marijuana,

  • Lesley123

    Yes…let’s keep it in the hands of dealers who will sell to any kid that asks rather than regulate it and put it in the hands of people who want to protect their license. Prohibition on pot has been a miserable failure, but it’s been great for drug dealers.

  • yongo

    Pain killers were in the hands of licensed doctors, pharmacist, and clinics we all know what is happening there or maybe some actually know.

    • Yes, but seriously junkies are going to OD you can’t stop that.
      However legitimate people who suffer from pain and who self medicate because the prescribed dosage is insufficient or medication is simply not working, need to be careful because an accidental OD is possible because these legitimate sufferers are just trying to live comfortably.

  • Attorney John Morgan in Tampa who is behind the funding for marijuana legalization. Will annihilate any city that opposes legally passed laws by the state and it’s constituents.

    There is no way Coral Springs can survive this financially. My Lord the state caved under Morgan’s pressure, no puny city can compete.

    Seriously Coral Springs, for your survival, allow what the voters passed, let the state under it’s legal rights control this. Look if the state controls this and completely screws it up, then you have a legal complaint for a judge to hear showing the state is incompetent and allowing you to take control, but jumping the gun is just pissing away money into Morgan’s bank account if 3.2 billion dollars already.

  • Matthew Beare

    Good we don’t need em lets open another Liquor store instead……..

  • kilroy

    Where are all the section 8 housing people suppose to buy their pot? Margate ? come on man…

    • yongo

      They probably have a delivery service paid by the same people who pay their rent the hard working tax payer

      • tj

        Thank God that we don’t have racists in CS.

        • yongo

          What the hell has race have to do with this druggies come in all colors and races people who refuse to make an honest living and take from those that do also come in all colors and races. Try playing there face card somewhere else where it is accepted as a excuse for all that goes wrong.

          • tj

            Someone is very sensitive. Who said we had racists … just saying we dont have them. (was there a subtexts to your reply from 5 days ago?)

          • kilroy

            every time I see a black woman with a black man I just wanna scream RACIST ! how dare they not marry someone white – they probably have a fence around their yard too …. racists … and whats with all these white people marrying other white people ?!? there seems to be a lot of racists out there…..

    • Chinese mail order, just like all other drugs it seems these days.
      The damn Chinese are putting the squeeze on the Mexican cartels.

  • kilroy

    So the ” right to choose ” ” pro choice ” democrats vote no on someone’s right to choose pot…. ? hypocrites

  • John Doe Sr

    Vice Mayor Cimaglia and Commissioners Carter and Vignola still believe Reefer Madness is factual.