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Amendment 9

Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces

Okay, we might have laughed out loud a little at this combination, another gem from the Constitution Revision Commission, because offshore drilling and vaping indoors could not have less to do with each other.

The amendment, which originated with the Constitution Revision Commission, reads:

Prohibits drilling for the exploration or extraction of oil and natural gas beneath all state-owned waters between the mean high water line and the state’s outermost territorial boundaries. Adds use of vapor generating electronic devices to current prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces with exceptions; permits more restrictive local vapor ordinances.

Florida law has prohibited offshore drilling in state waters (defined as those stretching to about nine miles offshore) since 1988, but putting it in the constitution, as this amendment would do, would give that law permanence. Former Gov. Charlie Crist tried to put this on the ballot in 2010 but couldn’t garner enough support, according to the League of Women Voters.

The other part of this amendment would ban “vaping” in indoor workplaces, as regular cigarette smoking already is.

If you vote yes, you will beef up protections against offshore oil and gas drilling in Florida state waters by putting the ban in the constitution, making it harder to overturn. You would also extend prohibitions on smoking in indoor workplaces to include “vaping.”

If you vote no, the ban on offshore drilling would remain state law, but not constitutionally enshrined, meaning it could be overturned by the legislature. You would also be able to freely vape in the workplace.