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State Economists Debate Potential Economic Impact of Medical Marijuana

State economists are trying to determine the potential economic impact of medical marijuana in Florida. That's because there's currently a petition drive to put an amendment on the 2014 ballot that would allow for some forms of legalized weed.

Debate at the state capital Monday focused on how medical marijuana would be taxed, if at all. Currently prescription drugs aren't taxed in Florida, but some over-the-counter treatments are.

The chief economist of the Florida Legislature, Amy Baker, says she's not worried about tourists coming to Florida to buy marijuana since there would be so many requirements, from taking a physical to getting health department certification.

"Your typical tourist or your typical vacationer, even if they had a condition that might qualify them for it, probably would not avail themselves of it because those two steps just introduced extra time into the process", Baker said.

Baker says if medical marijuana were legal, there would likely be additional sales tax revenue for the state, since probably not all sales would be tax free. The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments on December fifth about whether the proposed constitutional amendment should go before voters.

Last week Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a document arguing that the court should block a vote on the proposed amendment. Bondi says the ballot language could deceive voters about the extent of marijuana use that would be allowed.