Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Goofy Analogy In Medical Marijuana Case

I was watching a hearing about a state of Florida law that caps medical marijuana distribution centers at 25. Apparently, one company wants to build 27, so it's bothering to sue for the right to build as many dispencing facilities as it wants. Honestly, I don't care one way or the other, and it wasn't exactly riveting television, but there was one goofy analogy used by a lawyer that got me to writing.


The state, it would appear, added a cap after the initial application process. The lawyer for the company wanting to build the facilities, in an attempt to use football to prove his point, used the sport in a strange analogy. He suggested that if a football team was at first allowed to have as many players as it wanted and then later on was told it had to cap its number of players, it would be at a disadvantage related to other teams. 

While I understand the desire to use football to make sense of why the company wants more facilities, and it may be possible that not getting all 27 facilities would negatively affect the plans, football doesn't work here. Football teams are forced to cut players in the pros and in college, but the team certainly has the ability to keep enough players to play the game. The team would not really benefit from having 100 players, only 30 of which get any kind of playing time. All teams play by the rules of having 11 players on the field at one time.

Basically, the state made the rules of the number of players on the field with the cap.  The analogy fails because football has a cap to some degree from the outset. Any team told to cut players will keep the best players.

If a football league was started that allowed any team to play any number of players they could get to join the team but learned later that only 11 players could play, then that analogy would work. The team would have prepared game plans based on having 50 players on the field at a time, and that would change significantly when cut to 11. 

But the football analogy really works better for the state's case. The state could suggest it wanted to create an even playing field or did not want one company to wield too much power, thus the cap. I don't know the intent of the cap, so I'm not saying that argument works for the state, either.
Also, from what I could tell, this was not a jury trial, and the judge was an older lady who probably couldn't give a hoot about football. Maybe that was a blessing, since she might not understand why the analogy was so dumb.