Did Florida just become first U.S. state to pass a constitutional amendment against vaping?
Something very strange is going on in Florida. This past midterm election season, the Florida vaping community was placed in an impossible position. Amendment 9 was on the ballot, and for some bizarre reason, the proposed bill combined two very different and completely non-related issues – offshore drilling and workplace vaping. But perhaps the reason for the weird combo bill is more diabolical than it first appears.
A yes vote would show support for banning both offshore drilling and indoor vaping in most workplaces. A no vote would express the opposing point of view. The caster of the ballot must vote to prohibit or allow both offshore drilling and indoor vaping. No separation of the two issues would be allowed.
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Environmentally conscience vapers were essentially screwed. If they voted against the workplace vape ban, they would also be voting simultaneously to support offshore drilling and perhaps an even more expedient escalation of global warming.
Coincidentally, The Sunshine State is currently facing a devastating environmental challenge of its own taking the form of a highly toxic “red tide” that is decimating Florida marine and wildlife. The story doesn’t make the mainstream media in most parts of the country, but it’s a really big deal.
To make matters even worse, a toxic, green algae has started invading Florida beaches in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Scientists aren’t sure where it comes from or how to get rid of it. In Florida, the environment is a mess – literally. Vapers who voted to pass Amendment 9 deserve no ill will from American vapers in the other 49 states. Many probably felt as if they had no choice but to support the passage of Amendment 9.
What’s next for Florida Amendment 9?
The margin of approval is critical. The state constitution of Florida requires a 60 percent super-majority to pass. This means that if only 59 percent of Floridians voted in favor of the amendment, nothing would have essentially changed. But on Tuesday, about 68 percent of Floridians voted to pass the bill with approximately 90 percent of all precincts reporting. So, both bans are now in play.
“Floridians just protected our coastline from dirty and dangerous offshore drilling. This is great news for coastal communities and the clean, tourist-friendly beaches we depend on. By passing Amendment 9, Floridians are sending a loud message to President Trump that we oppose his reckless plan to expand offshore drilling.”
– Sarah Gledhill, Center for Biological Diversity
For those wondering why on earth Florida politicians would intentionally combine vaping and offshore drilling into a constitutional amendment, the passage of Florida Amendment 9, while honorable from an environmentally conscience viewpoint, may have just opened the door to something more nefarious.
Unless something very odd happens in the next few days with the finalizing of the vote count, the state constitution in Florida will become the very first in the United States to include a vape ban – albeit, a workplace-only one. This might be setting the stage for potential future legislation that could build upon this new legal precedent and sail through state congressional approval quite easily.
The fatal shot for a total, statewide vaping ban in Florida may have just been fired this Tuesday, and very few people within the vaping community may have even heard it.
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