Disney Just Banned Cannabis From Disneyland, Disney World

Published on May 4, 2017 · Last updated July 28, 2020

Last updated May 5, 2017, 10:25 a.m.

Medical marijuana might have the support of millions in California and Florida, but there are still plenty of places where it’s not allowed. One of those places, according to a new policy, is Disney World in Orlando. Another is “The Happiest Place on Earth”—Disneyland in Southern California.

The Orlando amusement park updated its website Thursday morning to specifically list “marijuana” as a prohibited item, a change reported by WESH 2 News. Disneyland’s website remained silent on cannabis until later that day, after Leafly News contacted the park to inquire about its policies.

“The answer is the same for both coasts and we are in the process of updating the park rules,” Disneyland’s media communications manager, Melissa Britt, told Leafly. By Thursday afternoon, marijuana had been added to Disneyland’s list of prohibited items on the park’s rules page. The prohibition appears to apply to all forms of cannabis, and it does not distinguish between medical and nonmedical marijuana.

“What makes that different than a pill of Oxycontin in their purse?”

“We are revising our rules to clarify that marijuana is not permitted on our property,” a Disney spokesperson told WESH 2 News when asked about the change. “Although some states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.”

Orlando attorney Matt Morgan, a legalization advocate who fought to pass Florida’s Amendment 2 to allow medical marijuana in the state, told WESH he’s not surprised by the decision. Allowing medical cannabis into the park, he explained, could become a nuisance to the general public.

“But to the extent that they’d go through someone’s personal belongings to search for that, I think that’s when the public might start having an issue with it,” Morgan told the station. “So for instance, if someone has a vaporizing pen in their purse, what makes that different than a pill of Oxycontin in their purse, and should people be treated differently?”

One reason for the difference could be based on the misconception that cannabis consumption necessarily involves smoking. Disney understandably wouldn’t want people smoking inside of the park, Morgan said, but many medical marijuana patients consume cannabis simply by placing a few drops of oil under their tongues.

As Disney World moves to ban medical marijuana from the park, patients throughout Florida are watching as lawmakers continue to overhaul the voter-approved Amendment 2. Some, however, have criticized the process as two steps forward, one steps back.

“We have listened and we have worked hard to create a patient-centered process,” Florida House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues (R-Estero) told local media in response to complaints.  “We believe this bill makes it easier for patients to obtain their medical marijuana.”

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May 4, 2017, 6:04 p.m. — A Disney spokesperson tells Leafly News that the ban on cannabis also applies to Disneyland in California.

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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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