Most likely nobody is surprised by the fact that cannabis is banned in Disney World or Disneyland. They might disagree with it. They might ask why a medical doctor-recommended drug would be banned in the parks. They might even be outraged that a child suffering from severe epilepsy wouldn’t be able to bring their non-psychoactive lingual spray. But they probably wouldn’t be surprised.
What is surprising, though, is that cannabis, medical and otherwise, was not expressly forbidden inside Disney World or Disneyland until last Thursday. That’s when the people at Disney World added marijuana to their list of prohibited items, grouped in with other intoxicants as “Alcoholic beverages, marijuana or any illegal substance.”
This addition was first discovered by Orlando’s WESH 2 News, which reached out to Disney for comment on the change. “Although some states have legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, marijuana remains illegal under federal law,” a Disney spokesperson said. “We are revising our rules to clarify that marijuana is not permitted on our property.”
What brought on this sudden change in explicit policy is uncertain, but it might have something to with Florida’s Amendment 2, a ballot initiative which went into effect in January and allowed, for the first time, for marijuana containing high amounts of THC to be recommended by a physician. This law does not allow for marijuana tourism in the way that a state with recreational marijuana does, but it may have brought greater awareness to the park’s administrators.
But what about Disneyland, “Happiest Place on Earth?” As of Thursday morning, there was no mention of the wacky tobaccy on Disneyland’s website. But that changed shortly after the weed news hounds at Leafly contacted the West Coast park for clarification.
“The answer is the same for both coasts and we are in the process of updating the park rules,” Melissa Britt, the park’s medica communications manager told Leafly. Later that afternoon, Disneyland added an identical statement about marijuana and other illegal substances to their park rules page.
Florida medical marijuana advocate Matt Morgan told WESH he thinks Disney World has gone too far, and that “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 asked, “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?”
So, when you wish upon a star in the Magic Kingdom, it better not involve treating yourself with state-legalized, but federally banned organic medicines.