Lighthouse Point, Fla — Last night, June 20, 2017, the City of Lighthouse Point denied an appeal by Boca Raton businessman Jeffrey Bowman for a building permit for a kava bar he would like to install in the city. Although Bowman and the city didn’t get off to the best of starts, the denial could cost city taxpayers a small fortune in attorney fees which, based on prior similar cases, they will likely lose. The city is already paying for an attorney to represent staff in this case.
Bowman wanted to expand to another location late last year and chose Federal Highway in Lighthouse Point as a good market for his coffee/kava bar. City officials; however, have now blocked him from doing any more work on his place as they do not want a kava bar in their city. This, even though no Lighthouse Point resident spoke out against having a kava bar in the city. There were many people who spoke last night, including some from the Libertarian Party.
The city’s May 2, 2017, planning and zoning board meeting sounded more like a slightly altered script of the propaganda drug movie “Reefer Madness,” so it is no doubt the city council was so concerned. But Kava and Kratom are completely legal and in fact, have been helpful with people getting off opioids and drinking alcohol which one would think the city would encourage the opening of more kava bars. But since they drank the “Reefer Madness” Kool-Aid, it was not to be, and city taxpayers will likely be paying the price.
Commissioner Jason Joffe dominated the meeting with wild animation and strong words thrown at Bowman’s attorneys. Joffe felt the kava bar would be a violation of their “designer drug” ordinance because they would be serving Kava and potentially Kratom. Joffe’s self-described full experience with kava was sipping a thimble amount of the tea in the South Pacific on his honeymoon. Kava or Kratom are rarely considered “designer drugs” except by those who have an agenda to unnecessarily regulate or ban them. The city’s “designer drug” ordinance is so vague, it could involve retailers already licensed in the city to be in violation.
Kava or Kratom are rarely considered “designer drugs” except by those who have an agenda to unnecessarily regulate or ban them. A few years ago the Broward County Commission was looking to ban Kratom; however, they came to their senses once they learned more about the issue, rejecting the proposed ban of its sale. In fact, the U.S. Government through the DEA was on the verge of doing something similar but backed off once they were exposed for using junk science in their analysis. Lighthouse Point residents are not as fortunate, as their city council has done an act similar to a ban.