Singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett recently took a break from his idyllic life of sponge cake and frozen concoctions to weigh in on two of Florida's controversial ballot amendments.
Buffett urged Floridians to vote against utilities-backed solar Amendment 1 and vote in favor of Amendment 2, a medical marijuana initiative.
"This solar power amendment— you've heard a lot about it," Buffett says. "It's obvious what's going on there. We've been enjoying the sun for most of our lives living in Florida. Now it's time to use it right and use it for everybody's benefit."
Amendment 1, which has been bankrolled by Florida's utility companies, would basically preserve the already existing rights of residents to own solar devices and stops customers who don't have solar from subsidizing solar owners. Critics of the amendment say utility companies are trying to protect their monopolies on energy and put up barriers to potential solar options. Last week, the Miami Herald reported on an audio tape that caught a policy director for a Tallahassee-based think tank talking about ways the utility industry mislead voters.
"Let the scum shine," writes Carl Hiaasen of the Herald last week. "The solar-power amendment on Florida’s ballot is a slick, oily fraud. Promoted as a way to expand solar energy and protect residents who want it, Amendment 1 would do just the opposite."
A vote in favor of medical marijuana got a big "Duh!" from Buffett.
"All it took for me was to fall off the stage in Australia and have to get serious medical attention afterward," he says. "I can tell you from first-hand experience that medical-marijuana is a great cure."