Tomorrow, our cover story deals with the impending water crisis facing the state of Florida – despite the fact that Florida is surrounded by water and that our state is dotted with lakes and crisscrossed by streams and rivers, we're facing a potentially devastating water shortfall due to overuse of groundwater from the Floridan Aquifer. And, although the state Senate has pushed around a few bills this legislative session to address some of the state's water quality and quantity problems, the House has so far failed to act. Which means we could be waiting for an entire year before we address the fact that we are, quite literally, running out of fresh drinking water.
While the Legislature stalls, a new candidate for Attorney General, Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer, says he has a plan to fund water conservation and infrastructure: legalize the production of hemp in the state.
"One of my first acts in office will be to deschedule industrial hemp," he said in an email sent today.
His campaign manager, W. Steven Edmonds, Jr. (a UCF grad, by the way) says that the tax sales from the emerging industry that would develop if hemp could be grown legally would help pay to fix the water infrastructure in the state. "It's a win for agriculture," he writes. "It's a win for citizens. It's a win for water resources and the environment. Hemp is a natural remedy for our water woes."
A site has been launched to promote the effort, and Wohlsifer plans to make that – as well as the legalization of medical marijuana – one of his key campaign platorms.