Watch CBS News

Hialeah councilwoman Angelica Pacheco wants to create law that bans smoking marijuana in public places

Hialeah Councilwoman Angelica Pacheco wants pot smell gone
Hialeah Councilwoman Angelica Pacheco wants pot smell gone 03:11

MIAMI - Months before Florida residents vote on state Amendment 3 to legalize marijuana use in Florida, Hialeah councilwoman Angelica Pacheco wants to pass an ordinance in the so-called City of Progress, like one that already exists in Miami Beach.

"I want to prohibit smoking marijuana in public places, not just the parks but also parking lots, at shopping centers, and grocery stores," she said.

But Hialeah Mayor Esteban Bovo said it's not necessary because that law already exists. Pacheco disagrees. She said what she's proposing is a wider ordinance.

Currently, the Hialeah existing ordinance says, "It shall be unlawful for any person to smoke and/vape on or within park property. A violation of this section shall be considered an uncorrectable or irreparable violation as defined in chapter 22 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Hialeah"

"That does not include marijuana, it does not regulate marijuana either," said Pacheco.

Her allegation led to an argument at a Hialeah city meeting this month. Another council member suggested to just add the word marijuana to the existing ordinance. Pacheco disagreed and according to her, the city attorney agreed because "it would be required to have a separate ordinance."

Mayor Bovo told Pacheco in the meeting she was seeking publicity.

"I know what you're trying to do, you want to create something that is unnecessary, maybe to go on the radio and speak about it," he said at the April 9th meeting.

In November 2024, Florida constituents will vote on:



A "yes" vote supports legalizing marijuana for adults 21 years old and older and allowing individuals to possess up to three ounces of marijuana.

A "no" vote opposes legalizing marijuana for adult use in Florida.

Source: Ballotpedia

CBS News Miami reached out to Mayor Bovo for a comment. He was out of town but did send a statement that said he did not support Amendment 3.

"Florida law states that possession and sale of marijuana is a crime. A simple possession charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Penalties increase depending on the amount of marijuana a person possesses," he wrote.

CBS News Miami's Ivan Taylor visited two Hialeah parks to see what residents had to say.

"I don't think that people should come over here, there are other areas they can use," said one person.

"If people can smoke cigarettes outside, which is the worst, then smoking pot outside, I don't see what the problem is," said another who felt the ordinance was not necessary.

"Many kids come to this park to play, I agree those (marijuana) smokers should be outlawed," said another person who was fed up with the smell of marijuana in her local park.   

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.