During Tuesday’s primary elections, those on Marco Island had one question to answer: to ban or not to ban?
The City of Marco Island proposed a ban on the recreational use, sale and growth of marijuana that was up for a vote on August 18.
Marco residents voted overwhelmingly, with 69% yes, they should ban the recreational use of marijuana on the island.
The city chairman who was part of the committee that drafted this legislation wants to point out that even if the state later passes a law legalizing recreational use, it will be banned on the island.
Even with the majority supporting the ban, there were still mixed reactions to its passing across Marco Island.
“It’s ridiculous these laws are antiquated, and it’s time we got into the new century,” said Jim Boylan who lives on the island.
Boylan is just one of those who think the city should’ve voted against the ban.
“I have been here for 20 years, and I think that most of the people I know are in favor of the recreational marijuana,” said Joyce Green, another resident.
As the votes showed, however, there were more people in favor of the ban. Green says she can also see the dangers.
“I don’t want it here on Marco because now that I’m here in my early 60s I know it kills brain cells I used to remember a lot more and I used to be a lot smarter,” she said.
Green’s worry is that if recreational marijuana was legalized, more people would come to Marco Island to get it.
“Look at what happened when they closed down for COVID,” she said. “Everybody from the east coast coming here. It’s just a matter of where they have the opportunity to get what they want. No, I don’t want it on the island.”
But others voting on Tuesday’s ban say it not that cut and dry. Oscar Martinez says his main concern is the health of young people.
“Well, ya know marijuana is one of those things. I’m not against marijuana but, I just worry about the younger generation as a gateway drug, and so that’s my only concern with it,” Martinez said.
Medical marijuana and CBD are legal on Marco Island.
Groups like ‘Legalize It Florida” are pushing to get recreational use, growth and sale on the 2022 ballot.