Floridians ‘Not Amused’ by 4 a.m. Robocall from Prohibitionists

Published on November 1, 2016 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Sleeping Man Being Woken By Mobile Phone In Bedroom

A campaign push by Florida medical marijuana opponents this weekend could’ve easily been mistaken for a massive drunk dial. In the early morning hours, between roughly midnight Saturday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday, hundreds of registered voters in the state received robocalls from Drug Free Florida urging them to oppose Amendment 2.

It’s not clear whether the effort won over hearts and minds, but local reports make it obvious the calls sure pissed people off. Pensacola resident Judy Druegner told Sunshine State News that she and her husband woke up at 4:38 a.m. Sunday morning to the phone ringing. Given the early hour, the couple feared it was a family emergency.

“We were not amused,” she said.

The Drueners weren’t alone. Several residents complained to local news, and the No on 2 Facebook page was swamped with complaints.

“All this particular political committee has done is show they are capable of spreading misinformation at best, downright lies the majority of the time, and horribly poor execution of their plan to push their nonsensical agenda,” wrote Facebook user Maggie Cappadonna. “Needless to say, they have not swayed my vote on Amendment 2.”

Florida Legalization: Seeking 60 Percent in the Sunshine State

In the ad, Drug Free Florida warns what might happen if voters say yes to the constitutional amendment to expand medical marijuana in Florida. The state’s current medical marijuana system is extremely limited, with most patients limited to low-THC cannabis in non-smokeable forms.

“They’re pushing a constitutional amendment that authorizes kid-friendly pot candy that looks just like the junk food your children know and love,” Dr. Jessica Spencer, a substance abuse counselor in Florida, says in the recorded message.

Drug Free Florida issued an apology Sunday evening after the phone snafu, saying the robocalls were supposed have been made in the evening.

“Our sincerest apologies to those voters who inadvertently received a recorded call during the early morning hours on Sunday,” the group said in a statement. “It was not our intention to have those calls made at that hour. These calls were supposed to be made starting in the early PM and were mistakenly sent in the early AM.”

Latest polls in Florida show Amendment 2 leading the polls, 71 percent to 21 percent. Constitutional amendments in Florida require a 60 percent supermajority for approval. A 2014 legalization measure failed by 3 percent.

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Gage Peake
Gage Peake
Gage Peake is a former staff writer for Leafly, where he specialized in data journalism, sports, and breaking news coverage. He's a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
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