City Asks If Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Should Be Allowed in Tamarac

Products from a medical marijuana dispensary in Deerfield Beach. Smokable marijuana flower is not currently an approved route of use under existing Florida law. Photo by Jason Perlow.

By: Jen Russon

The city of Tamarac wants to know what residents think about medical marijuana dispensaries.

After the commission voted to put a moratorium on dispensaries in 2016, more people have been educated about the benefits of medical marijuana.  Now, residents or anyone with a stake in the city, will be able to give their opinion on medical marijuana dispensaries in a quick online survey.

Former Mayor Henry Dressler referred to medical marijuana dispensaries as a “scam”, however, just months later, 70 percent of Florida voters disagreed and voted to pass Amendment 2. Tamarac’s decision to put a moratorium on them, left those seeking medical marijuana as a form of relief from certain illnesses no choice but to take their business elsewhere.

In March, the city of Coral Springs overturned their moratorium, and now the door is open for any licensed  dispensary who wants to open their business there. Pressure from the residents prompted members of the commission to put the item on the agenda and eventually vote to overturn their decision.

“This isn’t a partisan issue, this is merely to save lives – and give people access to their choice of treatment that makes them feel good today and help them live a life as long as they like to,” said Coral Springs City Commissioner Joshua Simmons after the city reversed the moratorium in March.

The online survey is to gauge if Tamarac residents wish to do the same. With this information, the city commission may either decide to continue the moratorium, or allow them with the same conditions and restrictions applied to pharmacies.  This would require one commissioner to put it on the agenda.

City spokesperson Elise Boston emphasized that no proposals have been made to repeal Tamarac’s medical marijuana moratorium at this time.

“Nothing has been drafted or presented by the commission. We’re just reaching out to the public to see how Tamarac residents feel about such facilities,” said Boston.

The survey can be accessed online through the city of Tamarac. Anyone is welcome to participate regardless of where they live, and can either give their name or remain anonymous. Verified responses from registered respondents will become public once the survey closes on Monday, May 13.

It takes just seconds to answer the survey. At press time, close to 300 people had taken it. Results will be displayed following the deadline.

Jen Russon

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Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.