Jimmy Buffett, the musician and unofficial ambassador to island-themed-parties everywhere, perhaps unsurprisingly urged Florida voters Monday to vote for legalizing medical marijuana in the state. But he also pushed for Floridians to reject a controversial solar power amendment that critics have said might trick voters into backing a power-company led plan that could allow the companies to monopolize the market.
Buffett made the pitch in a video posted to the YouTube channel of a group aiming to block the amendment that could prove damaging to the growth of solar energy use. Buffett starts the video by explaining he's in California and holds up an absentee ballot, then goes on to explain his thoughts on the amendments.
"The amendments: two very important ones to me," he said. "The solar power amendment you’ve heard a lot about it, I’ve read a lot about it, it’s obvious what’s going on there. We’ve been enjoying the sun most of our lives in Florida now it’s time to use it right, to use it for everybody’s benefit. That is why I am voting no on 1."
Buffett held up a sign promoting voting down the solar amendment, an effort led by Consumers for Smart Solar, which has raised $17 million from utility groups backing the measure, according to Politico. Supporters of the amendment say it will protect consumers from scams, while opponents like Buffett say it is a slickly worded measure that would limit consumers' choices for solar energy and would allow solar customers to be penalized.
The Miami Herald last week revealed a recording in which Sal Nuzzo, of the conservative James Madison Institute, could be heard praising Amendment 1 at an energy conference as "an incredibly savvy maneuver" because it "would completely negate anything they (pro-solar interests) would try to do either legislatively or constitutionally down the road."
After Buffett addressed the controversial solar measure, he changed his focus to the next amendment on the ballot. "Amendment 2, medical marijuana … Duh," said the Margaritaville singer, who owns multiple restaurants and resorts in Florida. "All it took was for me to fall off the stage in Australia and have to get serious medical attention afterwards and I can tell you from first-hand experience that medical marijuana is a great cure."
Buffett finished his plea to voters in two languages to be safe. "So, that is why I am voting no on 1, and yes on 2," he said. "No para uno, si para dos. Muchas gracias amigos. Thank you very much everybody."