There's been a lot of chatter about Florida's upcoming vote on medical marijuana legalization bill, Amendment 2.
But No On 2, a campaign partially funded by Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is taking the talk in a new, low direction: suggesting that legalizing marijuana used for people with seizure disorders and diseases would lead to date rape by pot cookie.
"Will the new face of 'date rape' look like a cookie?" the ad asks, showing a man and woman facing a picnic table holding a plate of chocolate chip cookies. A large, white arrow points to the man's back pocket, where lurks, through Photoshop, a packet labeled "Marijuana Cookies."
“I absolutely thought it was fake. I thought it was a joke,” Florida state Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) told WPTV.
“I think any woman should find that offensive to somehow suggest that if you use medical marijuana to deal with a health issue that you’re trying to deal with that somehow that’s going to make you more susceptible to rape," he added. "It’s really beyond the pale.”
"I think it's just extraordinarily insensitive to everybody," said Ben Pollara, the campaign manager for United For Care, the group behind Amendment 2. "I was dumbfounded when I saw it."
"The only thing that's offensive is Amendment 2," countered No On 2 spokesman Javi Correoso in an interview with news channel WPBF.
As for the claim itself? According to Dr. Jorge Bordenave, a cardiologist at South Miami's Larkin Community Hospital who supports medical marijuana, the date rape suggestion is unfounded.
"Right now, as we know, you can get pot anywhere, on the corners, kids get pot,” Bordenave told NBCMiami. "There has been no incidents of date rape with the pot [young people] are smoking currently. So what they are saying is trying to scare the people; trying to lie to the people."
Amendment 2 would legalize marijuana use for those prescribed it by a doctor to treat a "debilitating medical condition," which the measure defines as the likes of cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, among others.
The amendment would not authorize recreational use, possession or the production of marijuana. However, that hasn't stopped opponents from suggesting otherwise.
"Let's keep our children safe," reads another No On 2 Facebook post, while another claims lollipops with THC -- the compound in cannibis that produces a high -- will be available "everywhere. (Just imagine the danger this will be for small children.)"
The anti-medical marijuana group Drug Free Florida Committee, which funds No On 2, is run by Carlton Turner, the Reagan-era director of drug abuse policy who has claimed marijuana leads to homosexuality and AIDS, the Broward/Palm Beach New Times reports.
A poll last month showed a whopping 88 percent of Floridians support medical marijuana, suggesting Amendment 2 may get the required 60 percent of the vote necessary to pass in November.