While top Republicans like Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi are opposed to legalizing medical marijuana in Florida, the issue isn’t necessarily a left vs. right issue.
Don Gaetz, the Republican President of the Florida Senate, has made the blunt admission that he once bought pot to ease the pain of a dying friend.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, back in 1984 Gaetz’s friend E. Ronal Mudd, a Methodist chaplain, was suffering from cancer with severe side effects of nausea. He read that marijuana might be able to help his symptoms. So Mudd asked Gaetz to get him some pot, and, well, he did.
“The quality of his life was undermined by this intense nausea,” Gaetz told the paper. “Ron Mudd said to me, ‘I understand that marijuana might help; can you get me some?’ And I did, and it helped.”
“Here was a man who was dear to me, who was suffering and asked me to help him,” Gaetz continued. “If I would do that and break the law, what would I do for my own child? How could I deny compassionate care to someone else’s child?”
Gaetz’s admission comes as Matt Gaetz, his son and a member of the Florida house, is sponsoring legislation that would legalize a strain of marijuana called “Charlotte’s Web” the helps relieve symptoms in some children who suffer form seizures. That strain of the drug has no euphoric effects.
The senior Gaetz supports that bill. However, despite his admission of illegally buying pot for a cancer patient, he does not support the proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana more broadly in Florida.
He thinks that bill, spearhead by super-lawyer John Morgan, is a “tactic” to help spur Democratic turnout in the November election.
Turns out Gaetz is a typical Republican after all. Even when he clearly supports the idea of medical marijuana, he won’t support it if it helps people out on the other side of the aisle.