Florida State Senator Introduces Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Categories: Marijuana

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Photo by Nanette Gonzales
Is it only a matter of time before Florida sees recreational marijuana?

Whoa.

There are a lot of words here.

Big words.

Numbers too... decimal points... lot of really aggressive punctuation, brah.


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Debbie Wasserman Schultz Gets Rebuke from Medical Marijuana Donor John Morgan

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Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
Wasserman Schultz celebrating at Charlie Crist's primary victory celebration.
Last year, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz took a decidedly un-progressive stance against Florida's medical marijuana amendment. In a statement she said that Amendment 2 was "too broad" and borrowed talking-points from noted anti-medical marijuana voices such as Attorney General Pam Bondi, comparing the legalization of medical cannabis to the pill-mill epidemic.

This drew criticism from within her own part as well as John Morgan, the Orland-based lawyer that has donated big money to the cause of medical marijuana and has been United for Care's biggest benefactor.

But earlier this week, Wasserman Schultz reportedly sent Morgan an email, telling him she would change her mind about medical marijuana if he publicly took back the criticism he's lobbed her way. Morgan not only said no, he leaked the email to Politico. And he's calling her out on Twitter.

See also: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Calls Medical Marijuana Initiative "Too Broad"

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Non-Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced by GOP Rep. Greg Steube

Categories: Marijuana

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photo: Brandon Marshall
On the heels of Rep. Jeff Brandes introduction of the Florida Medical Marijuana Act in late January comes a new bill, this time introduced by fellow Republican Rep. Greg Steube. But where Brandes' bill focuses in on trying to close off loop holes to keep medical marijuana only in the hands of patients who need it, Steube's bill is for a non-smokable form of medical marijuana that targets eight specific diseases and those who are terminally ill.

The crux of the bill remains a lot like the Brandes bill. Steube wants to make sure medical marijuana remains for only narrow and specific type of person. But the bill, HB 683, is vastly more comprehensive than Brandes'.

See also: New Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced by GOP Rep. Jeff Brandes


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Florida Hands Out More Marijuana Citations Than Does Any Other State

Categories: Marijuana

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Dank Depot via Flickr cc
Florida was pretty close to legalizing the good green last November -- a constitutional amendment that would have allowed medical marijuana failed by just two percentage points. But even though those stats make the Sunshine State look weed-friendly, the facts on the ground paint a different picture. A recent study conducted by MuckRock collected the data on marijuana citations from a number of major states. Florida leads the pack -- by a lot.


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Jesse Teplicki, Arrested for Growing Pot: It Was Medical Marijuana to Treat My Anorexia

Categories: Marijuana

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In January 2013, an anonymous tipster lead authorities to the home of Jesse Teplicki. Broward Sheriff's Office deputies found 46 marijuana plants there. Teplicki was promptly arrested and charged with a felony count of possession. Prosecutors gave him a probationary offer to keep him out of prison. Teplicki turned it down, because the marijuana he was growing was not so he could deal it or simply to get high with, he claims. The marijuana was for healing. Teplicki has suffered from severe chronic anorexia since he was a child.

Without the marijuana, Teplicki, 50, says he has no appetite and suffers from severe stomach pain. But with the help of cannabis, Teplicki's appetite is stimulated. The marijuana also reduces his nausea. Teplicki says his marijuana is medicine. And he is ready to prove that to a jury of his peers.

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Anti-Medical Marijuana Florida Sheriff Changing His Mind About Legalization

Categories: Marijuana

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"A vote for Amendment 2 is a vote for legalizing marijuana forever in the State of Florida," Florida Sheriffs Association President Sheriff Grady Judd said in a vehemently anti-medical marijuana video released last April.

With the video, titled The Devil Is in the Details, Judd's anti-medical weed group No on 2 launched their biggest talking point: that Amendment 2 was fraught with legal loopholes and language that would allow pot to be smoked and sold on the streets willy-nilly. This despite the many attempts by medical marijuana advocates saying otherwise.

Amendment 2 eventually failed to reach the 60 percent needed to pass, and medical marijuana was not made legal in Florida.

But now, with a new bill being introduced to make medical marijuana legal, Judd and some of his fellow Florida sheriffs may be changing their minds.

See also: New Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced by GOP Rep. Jeff Brandes

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New Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced by GOP Rep. Jeff Brandes

Categories: Marijuana

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photo: Brandon Marshall
A new bill looking to legalize medical marijuana has been filed for the upcoming legislative session. Rep. Jeff Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg, has introduced the Florida Medical Marijuana Act, which would authorize a doctor to use medicinal marijuana to treat patients afflicted with specific illnesses. Among the ailments listed would be cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, ALS, Crohn's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

According to the proposed bill, there would be a license for cultivation and processing medical marijuana and another for selling it. The bill would also allow county commissioners to decided where medical marijuana could be sold.

The bill is being introduced just weeks after United for Care launched another petition drive to get medical marijuana on the 2016 ballot.

See also: Petition Approved to Get Medical Marijuana on Florida Ballot Again in 2016

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Florida Has the 12th Cheapest Marijuana in the Country

Categories: Marijuana

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
You ain't gotta be rich to get high.
Sunshine, beaches, alligators, corruption -- you name it, Florida's got it. But now there's another reason to love this place: We have the 12th cheapest marijuana in the country.

The average price of pot in Florida goes for $9.09 per gram, according to stats compiled by The Economist, which compared the cost of illegal marijuana to legal marijuana across the country. A common complaint among people who live in states with legal weed is that even though they're allowed to buy it in stores with pretty packaging, the price is much higher than when they buy it from a street merchant with ziplock bags. Not surprisingly, the cost of weed everywhere around the country (except for North and South Dakota) is much lower than in our more open-minded counterparts in Colorado and Washington, as well as California, which has easily obtainable medical marijuana.

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Jeff Kottkamp, Former Lieutenant Governor, Joins Fight for Medical Marijuana

Categories: Marijuana

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Ken Hamblin
Terrapin Care Station, a recreational marijuana store in Boulder, Colorado.
Don't count out legal weed just yet. Although medical marijuana racked up only 58 percent approval at the polls this election year, supporters are already mounting a campaign to get a similar proposal on the 2016 ballot. The thinking is that a general election will draw more Floridians off their asses to vote than a gubernatorial contest. As proponents begin planning for another push, they just added another big name to their ranks: former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp.

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Petition Approved to Get Medical Marijuana on Florida Ballot Again in 2016

Categories: Marijuana

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Brandon Marshall
After failing to get it passed by a very slim margin, medical marijuana advocates prepare for another run.
This past November, Amendment 2, which would have made it legal for those with debilitating diseases to obtain medical marijuana legally, needed 60 percent of the vote to pass. It fell short by 2 percent. It was as close as Florida has ever come to joining 23 other states and Washington, D.C., in having some form of legalized marijuana.

Still, big numbers showed up to the polls to vote for Amendment 2. In fact, more people voted for legalized marijuana in Florida than voted for Rick Scott for reelection.

And now United for Care, the medical marijuana group that made Amendment 2 possible, has officially launched a campaign to get the initiative back on the ballot for 2016.

See also: Florida's Top Pot Backer, John Morgan Sees Hope Through Dope For His Paralyzed Brother, Tim

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