Sitting on the Beach and a Pound of Weed Washes Up Next to You – Gift from the Gods or Breaking the Law, What Do You Do?

August 4, 2023 · Cannabis.net

A Florida beach became the location of an enigmatic discovery – a lost treasure. Neptune Beach, situated in the northeastern part of the state near Jacksonville, witnessed an intriguing incident. The local police reported that on Saturday morning, they responded to the presence of a considerable quantity of marijuana that had washed ashore.

According to the Neptune Beach Police Department’s Facebook post, a significant stash of marijuana likely ruptured at sea and scattered before reaching the beach. In response to this unexpected development, officers were promptly dispatched to the scene to collaborate with Public Works to clean up the marijuana from the beach.

The Facebook post displayed three images, revealing a series of cannabis buds strewn along the shoreline in a long trail. The Neptune Beach Police Department issued a warning in the post, cautioning against any attempts by individuals to turn this unexpected discovery into a personal treasure hunt.

In the post, the police department further described the condition of the marijuana, indicating that it was far from desirable. The weed had become dank, but not in a positive manner. Due to its prolonged exposure to the ocean, the marijuana had rapidly begun to degrade and rot, rendering it unsuitable for use or consumption.

According to a local news outlet, Action News Jax, officers were actively present at the scene late Saturday morning, collaborating with Public Works to remove the marijuana from the beach. The report also stated that the area had been cleared by that time.

An eyewitness interviewed by the station shared their account of the situation, mentioning a couple of police cars parked on the street. They observed the officers picking up cannabis buds that had washed up from the water scattered along the shoreline.

Not Their First Rodeo

Back in 2018, law enforcement in St. John’s County, Florida, made a report regarding the appearance of numerous packages of cannabis washing up on their shores. Among these packages, one particularly hefty package weighed an impressive 30 pounds.

Chuck Mulligan, the St. John’s County public information officer, provided insights into the situation then. He mentioned that such clandestine exchanges often occurred during the cover of darkness, making it challenging to pinpoint the exact location where this incident might have occurred in the ocean. It could have originated either off the coast of St. John’s County or somewhere in south Florida, subsequently drifting for days until it reached their shores.

Chuck Mulligan further explained that due to their proximity to Central and South America, their region often served as a gateway for transporting illegal products into the United States. Consequently, encountering such occurrences every once in a while, perhaps once or twice a year, in St. John’s County was not an unusual phenomenon.

Recreational Cannabis Legalization In Florida.

Despite efforts by advocates to change the status quo, recreational cannabis continues to be illegal in the Sunshine State of Florida. However, these advocates have faced significant resistance from certain Florida officials who oppose such changes.

Recently, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody took action by filing a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court. The lawsuit challenges a proposed 2024 ballot initiative that seeks to legalize recreational cannabis in the state. In her legal brief, Moody argues that if the initiative were to pass, it would permit individuals aged 21 years or older to possess, purchase, or utilize marijuana products and accessories for recreational purposes.

One of the main points of contention Moody raised is that cannabis remains illegal under federal law. She contends that this aspect of the proposed initiative renders it “incorrect and misleading.”

Smart & Safe Florida, the advocacy group spearheading the efforts to include the initiative on the ballot for the upcoming year, has submitted its brief to the Supreme Court this month.

In their brief, the group highlighted that the Supreme Court had previously provided a well-defined “roadmap” for sponsors of marijuana-related ballot initiatives in recent years. They emphasized diligently following this clear roadmap while drafting their proposed initiative. However, they expressed concern that the Attorney General and other opponents were urging the court to alter this established map abruptly.

The group’s brief pointed out that the Attorney General’s primary argument was discarding three of the court’s recent precedents. These had been explicitly encouraged by the court itself as blueprints for future initiatives sponsored by ballot proponents.

Smart and Safe Florida and their campaign has received $39.05 million in contributions, all of which have come from Trulieve, a marijuana dispensary company operating medical marijuana dispensaries within Florida. Smart & Safe Florida asserts that the cannabis industry is sustainable and experiencing growth. In contrast to the state’s job losses in 2020, the cannabis industry in Florida added 15,000 employees during the same period.

The campaign also cites data from New Frontier, projecting tax revenues from the legal cannabis industry to reach $4.06 billion by 2025 for both federal and state governments. Addressing concerns about underage consumption, they point out that in the 37 states where marijuana has been legalized for medical or recreational use, there is no evidence of an increase in underage consumption from regulated marketplaces.

The campaign argues that the continued illegal sale of marijuana in the black market perpetuates a culture of criminality. In contrast, if adult-use cannabis is legalized, Smart & Safe Florida believes that users in Florida will have accountability, transparency, and regulations to ensure that products are free from potentially harmful chemicals.

Voting “yes” on the ballot supports the legalization of marijuana for adults aged 21 years and older, enabling them to possess up to three ounces of marijuana. On the other hand, casting a “no” vote opposes the legalization of marijuana for adult use in Florida.

Conclusion

The Florida beach incident with the washed-up marijuana raises intriguing questions about the discovery’s source and circumstances. The debate over recreational cannabis legalization continues to be a contentious issue in the state, with Smart & Safe Florida advocating for change and facing opposition from some officials. As the proposed ballot initiative moves forward, it remains to be seen how the state’s citizens will decide the future of marijuana legislation in Florida. (Full Story)

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