ICYMI there’s an interesting column by Mike Cantone at West Orlando News about Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer’s recent pot decriminalization press conference with Organize Now, ACORN’s Florida successor.
Cantone reports Organize Now claimed disproportionate arrests of minority youth engaged in marijuana possession as one of the top issues impacting our local families. Actual data shows otherwise, according to Cantone. In 2015, 293 adult arrests and 34 juvenile arrests occurred in which possession of cannabis was the only charge. In 2014, 335 adult arrests and 42 juvenile arrests occurred. Data is similar for the last five years. This data indicates “arrests made for only cannabis possession are a non-issue” in Orlando.
If Cantone’s data is indeed accurate, it looks like this proposed pot decriminalization ordinance only codifies what is already standard practice procedure for the Orlando Police Department. So, why the fanfare and the self gratuitous victory lap from the mayor and Organize Now?
Cantone suggests it is politically motivated on the mayor’s part.
Cantone has even sharper criticism for Organize Now, specifically its members of the Racial Justice Committee. Cantone claims that by helping Dyer on this nonissue, more important issues will be ignored. Also, fines and a record of the offense are negative consequences.
Furthermore, Cantone questions whether Organize Now even played a significant role in this new ordinance, given the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, according to Cantone, was unaware of any details regarding discussions or meetings with Organize Now.
So, it looks like Organize Now falsely claimed credit for solving a problem that doesn’t even exist and there may be negative unintended consequences!
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is not falling for this dog and pony show of the Mayor Dyer and Organize Now. Mayor Jacobs has voiced her concerns about this proposed change in her letter to the judicial circuit’s chief judge, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
More will follow…