GOP Senator Rick Scott, DeSantis Predecessor, Will Vote Against Cannabis Legalization In Florida Citing Brother's Recent Death

Zinger Key Points
  • Scott said his late brother's history of addiction shaped his stance on the cannabis issue. Roger Scott passed away in April at 67.
  • Scott's stance aligns with many Republicans who say marijuana is a gateway to dangerous substances, though scientists dispute the theory.

Republican Senator Rick Scott, former governor of Florida, has declared his intention to vote against the state’s marijuana legalization initiative that will appear on the November ballot.

Scott said his late brother’s long history of addiction shaped his stance on the issue. Roger Scott, who passed away in April at 67, began smoking marijuana as a teenager.

“People end up with addictive personalities, and so he did,” Sen. Scott said in a recent interview, reported the Associated Press. “It messes up your life, and so that's why I've never supported legalization of drugs.” 

Before entering politics and serving as governor of Florida (2011-2019) prior to Ron DeSantis, Scott amassed significant wealth as a lawyer and healthcare industry executive. He is now running for reelection to the U.S. Senate.

‘Tough Life’ Of Drug Abuse

Roger Scott’s death was not directly caused by cannabis or substance abuse, but rather the cumulative effects of a life plagued by drug and alcohol use, according to the senator. Roger lived in an apartment in Dallas, Texas, where he had served jail time in 1990 for possessing dangerous drugs.

Meanwhile, Scott’s stance aligns with many Republicans who question whether marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous substances. The National Institute on Drug Abuse noted in 2019 that while most cannabis users do not progress to using harder substances, THC – the psychoactive component of marijuana — may alter the brain in ways that could increase the likelihood of addiction to other drugs.

Amie Goodin, a researcher on marijuana safety at the University of Florida, pointed out that while riskier drug users often have a history of marijuana use, there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana itself causes the transition to harder substances.

Though medical marijuana was approved during Scott’s tenure as governor, he and the Legislature imposed strict usage regulations, including a ban on smokable marijuana. After cannabis advocates sued, a court allowed smokable medical marijuana just before Scott left office in 2019. His successor, Ron DeSantis, did not to appeal the decision.

Now Read: DeSantis Vetoes Bill That Would Regulate Intoxicating Hemp In Lifeline To Industry As He Bashes Cannabis Legalization Amendment

Photo: Shutterstock

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