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Ron DeSantis Doubles Down on Hardline Anti-Cannabis Stance Claiming Legalisation ‘Hasn’t Worked’

Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis has doubled down on his anti-cannabis position, stating once again that he had no plans for federal legislation and that ‘drugs are killing this country’.

The Florida Governor was questioned during a recent campaign stop in Iowa on his stance on cannabis legalisation both in his state, which is currently considering whether a legalisation vote will appear on the 2024 ballot, and federally.

Asked whether he would ‘go along with the cannabis industry’ and legalise at a federal level if elected, Mr DeSantis stuck to his hardline stance, making a number of unsubstantiated claims about the impact of legalisation on other states.

Responding to an attendee who said they knew people who have been impacted by cannabis induced psychosis, Mr DeSantis said that the growing potency of cannabis was a ‘real, real problem’.

“I think when kids get on that, I think it causes a lot of problems and then, of course, you know, they can throw fentanyl in any of this stuff now.”

READ MORE: Black Farmers Awarded Medical Cannabis Licenses in Florida

He went on to target San Francisco and its more liberal stance of drug policy, stating that when he visits the city ‘within five minutes I see somebody defecating on the sidewalk in broad daylight’.

Focusing on his own state, Mr DeSantis said he would ‘abide by’ the vote to legalise medical cannabis, but would not ‘take action now to make it even more available’.

Referencing Colorado, the first US state to legalise cannabis for adult-use, he claimed that ‘the black market for marijuana is bigger and more lucrative than it was before legalisation’.

This claim goes against both private and government data suggesting the size of the illicit market has been drastically reduced since legalisation in 2014.

It comes as the Florida Supreme Court is considering whether to green light a third attempt to secure a vote on adult-use legalisation next year.

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