Conference to Discuss the Future of Medical Marijuana in Florida Happening This Week

Categories: Marijuana

Photo: Philip Poston
Florida For Care, the group that put together a bipartisan Blue Ribbon Committee to dictate regulatory standards had the medical marijuana amendment passed back in November, is hosting a couple of conferences they've dubbed "The Future of Medical Marijuana in Florida."

With Amendment 2 defeated in the polls in November, the group is moving forward to start, as they put it, "strategizing and planning in advance of Florida's Legislative Session."

The next legislative session is scheduled for March.

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Native Americans Can Grow and Sell Marijuana Without Government Interference, Justice Department Says (UPDATE)

Categories: Marijuana

Update: Reached for comment by New Times, spokesman for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Gary Bitner, said that the growing and selling of marijuana on sovereign tribal land is "not on the Seminole Tribe's radar."

Messages to the Miccosukee Tribe have remained unreturned.

Florida remains one of the last few states where growing and selling marijuana in any capacity is still illegal. But that might change, at least in one aspect, according to a report by the L.A. Times that says the U.S. government will not stop Native American tribes from growing or selling pot on sovereign land.

The report says the Justice Department will not try to enforce federal marijuana laws on Native American reservations, even if it's otherwise illegal in a respective tribe's state. Which essentially means tribes can grow and sell weed on their land without government interference.

Just as casinos have been big moneymakers down here for Native American tribes such as the Miccosukees and Seminoles, so too can selling marijuana, potentially.

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Richard DeLisi, Man Sentenced to 90 Years over Marijuana Crime, to Have Fate Decided in 30 Days

Categories: Marijuana, News

Back in October, New Times published a feature on people doing hard time for marijuana. One of the men profiled in the piece, Richard DeLisi, was sentenced in 1989 to 90 years for marijuana-related crimes, including trafficking and conspiracy to traffic.

Aging and in declining health, the 65-year-old DeLisi's fate is in the hands of a court hearing that will decide if he will have one of his felony conspiracy charges reduced to a second-degree misdemeanor. Last week, Judge Michael Raiden of the Polk County Courthouse began a 30 day deliberation over a motion filed by DeLisi's attorney, despite the state's objections.

"I've watched murderers, rapists, and child molesters all get out of jail before me," DeLisi told New Times via phone from the South Bay Correctional Facility for the October feature. "When I was smuggling, I always knew the consequences. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would end up like this."

DeLisi is due to be released in 2026, when he will be 77.

See also: Meet the Americans Serving Life in Prison for Weed

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Medical Marijuana Rejected: What Went Wrong, Where to Go From Here

Amendment 2 got more votes than Rick Scott, Jeff Atwater, and Pam Bondi. More Floridians voted yes on 2 than they did no. Yet, Florida remains a state without legalized medical marijuana. Simply because it couldn't get those final two percentage points to push it over the top.

What did Amendment 2 in was, not surprisingly, demographics.

Sixty-three percent of those 65 years of age or older voted no on 2. That came down to 25 percent of the vote. Not shockingly, it was the younger voters who came out in force for Amendment 2, with 79 percent of the 18-to-29 demo voting for the initiative to pass.

Yet it wasn't enough. Because the amendment needed 60 percent to pass.

And Florida is the only state that requires 60 percent to pass a ballot initiative.

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Robert Platshorn on Amendment 2: "Seniors Are Going to Make or Break This"

Categories: Marijuana

screen grab
So it's go-time for Sunshine State supporters of medicinal smoking. For the first time, Floridians are going to polling places weighing a choice on the legalization of marijuana. By this time next week, Florida's weedscape could look drastically different -- or unfortunately the same. With such a possible historical swing in the offing, we decided to touch base with one of Florida's biggest proponents of marijuana reform, a guy who's truly given his life to the cause: Robert Platshorn. But even Bobby Tuna himself is iffy on the amendment's chances.

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Florida Medical Marijuana Is Actually Not Done, According to Latest Poll

Categories: Marijuana

As we enter the final stretch for elections, news had been quite somber for the passage of medical marijuana. After a year of strong initial polling that indicated Amendment 2 would be pushed through by voters, recent weeks have shown that the initiative was in danger of falling short and failing to pass.

One pollster even said medical marijuana in Florida "is done."

But a new poll conducted in the past week by public opinion research firm Anzalone Liszt Grove -- called one of the most reliable pollsters by FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver -- shows that Amendment 2 is still very much alive and, according to this data, will pass come November 4.

See also: Florida Medical Marijuana Is "Done," According to Latest Poll

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Florida Medical Marijuana Is "Done," According to Latest Poll

Photo by Philip Poston
Last week, news broke that Amendment 2 was in serious danger of not getting the necessary 60 percent in order to pass.

And now, with Election Day exactly one week away, another poll says it's still not looking great for medical marijuana legalization.

Gravis Marketing, a PR firm based in Winter Springs, conducted its own automated phone survey and found that 50 percent would vote for the amendment, and 42 would not, with 8 percent still not sure.

See also: Medical Marijuana Is Not Done, According to Latest Poll

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United for Care Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter to TV Stations to Pull Ad

Categories: Marijuana
via YouTube
Recently, television stations have been airing an ad from anti-medical marijuana group No on 2 titled "It's Nuts." The ad claims, among other things, that voting yes on Amendment 2 will legalize pot and that kids will be able to get weed on their own "without their parents' permission."

In response, United for Care has sent a cease-and-desist letter to every television station that is broadcasting the ad, claiming the 30 second ad is misleading and false.

Federal law says that the FCC has the responsibility to prevent commercials that spew illegitimate claims from airing.

See also: Anti-Medical Marijuana Group Releases Video to Scare People Into Voting No on Amendment 2

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Florida's Medical Marijuana Amendment Is in Danger of Failing

Categories: Marijuana

Dank Depot via Flickr cc
For much of the past year, it seemed almost inevitable that medical marijuana would become legal in Florida. Polls showed that more than 80 percent of Floridians would support a constitutional amendment that's on the ballot this November legalizing medicinal weed.

So it was something of a shocker last week when a Tampa Bay Times poll indicated that medical marijuana will fail to get the 60 percent of the vote required to get on the ballot. It had previously polled at more than 9-to-1.

See also: Meet the Americans Serving Life in Prison for Weed

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Trial to Decide if Man Needs Medical Marijuana Restarts Monday

Categories: Marijuana

With Election Day three weeks away, the decision over whether medical marijuana will be legalized in Florida hangs in the balance. And today, in what is a first for Florida, a jury will be deciding if marijuana is medically necessary for someone.

The trial of Jesse Teplicki, which started Monday morning at the Broward County Courthouse, puts into the spotlight the issue of marijuana and its legality in the face of needing it for medicine.

Teplicki, 50, was arrested on 2013 after BSO deputies found a grow house in his home, where he was growing 46 marijuana plants. Now Teplicki, who says he needs marijuana to treat his severe anorexia, is facing a felony count of possession.

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