Medical Marijuana Debate at Broward College Draws Passions From Both Sides

Categories: Marijuana

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
It was a surprisingly sparse crowd that gathered in the Broward College South campus' Performing Arts Center on Tuesday to watch United For Care's Ben Pollara and Drug Free Florida's Javier Correoso debate Amendment 2 and the legalization of medical marijuana.

Yet, the passions that are being inflamed over this issue were ever present, particularly among the crowd of mostly pro-medical marijuana.

And, as November approaches and the debates resume, it's becoming abundantly clear that medical marijuana is becoming the issue that's rousing passings more than any other this election cycle. Even with a thin crowd at Broward's debate, the fervor over the amendment was tangible.

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Medical Marijuana Town Hall Meeting Going Down at Broward College Tuesday

Categories: Marijuana

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Photo by William Breathes
The debate for legalizing medical marijuana has been traveling throughout Florida the past few weeks, and now it's making its stop in our neck of the woods.

United For Care and Drug Free Florida will be going head-to-head before the public in Broward, in a town hall debate Tuesday morning.

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Anti-Medical Marijuana Group Pouring $1.6 Million Into TV Ads (UPDATE)

Categories: Marijuana

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Update:
United For Care campaign manager Ben Pollara released a statement on Drug Free Florida's planned TV ads:

"It's no surprise Drug Free Florida Committee is making such a large buy so far out from Election Day. When your basic position runs completely counter to public opinion, millions in misleading advertising is the only strategy available. But no amount of advertising can overwhelm the basic facts. Floridians know the benefits of medical marijuana are real, and the people of this state are deeply compassionate. We believe the overwhelming majority will vote to make sure patients no longer have to risk incarceration for listening to their doctors and seeking relief from debilitating diseases and medical conditions."

Original post:
With the vote a mere two months away, the No On 2/Drug Free Florida people are decidedly taking it strong to the hoop with their TV airtime buys, trying to get their message across to as many people as possible.

The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo reports that Drug Free Florida is putting in $1.6 million in TV ads for the first week of October, and are promising more to come after that.

See also: Anti-Medical Marijuana Group Goes After John Morgan's Profanity-Laced Speech in Ad

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Anti-Medical Marijuana Group Goes After John Morgan's Profanity-Laced Speech in Ad

Categories: Marijuana

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via YouTube
"Does this sound like a rally to help the sick?" So says a 30 second ad from anti-medical marijuana group No On 2 in reference to John Morgan's profanity-laced rant from a week ago.

Morgan, the Orland-based attorney and medical marijuana advocate who has poured millions of his own money into getting Amendment 2 passed, made the speech to a group of young voters during a post-debate party to rally them to get out and vote for the amendment in November.

It was only a matter of time before his opponents struck and used footage from the cellphone-shot video in an ad that looks to stretch their narrative that Amendment 2 will only lead to full-on medical weed for everyone in Florida, even those who aren't sick.

See also: John Morgan's Profanity-Laced Video: United for Care Responds

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BSO's Scott Israel One of Just Four Florida Sheriffs Not Campaigning Against Medical Pot

Categories: Marijuana

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United for Care, a pro-medical marijuana lobby backed by attorney John Morgan, faces its biggest opponent: Florida's cops. In June, members of the newly formed Don't Let Florida Go to Pot coalition assembled in Tallahassee to educate voters on the dangers of marijuana and discourage voters from passing Amendment 2, which will be on the ballot this November. Although the group has more than 100 partners, its biggest advocate is the Florida Sheriff's Association.

However, support from that group is not unanimous -- only 63 of Florida's 67 sheriffs have jumped aboard the Reefer Madness train. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is one of the outliers who has resisted joining. His stance is notable not only because he runs the biggest police agency in Florida but because BSO is the largest sheriff's department in the country.

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Anti-Medical Marijuana Group Attacks John Morgan and Loopholes on Billboard

Categories: Marijuana

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Anti-medical marijuana group Drug Free America Foundation has taken it up a notch on their "Amendment 2 has loopholes that will lead to legalized marijuana" talking point by putting up a billboard attacking John Morgan.

Morgan, the Orland-based attorney and medical marijuana advocate who has poured millions of his own money into getting Amendment 2 passed, recently made headlines with a profanity-laced speech he gave a group of young voters during a post-debate party last week.

And while one would assume that would be the fodder for his opponents, it looks like the anti-medical weed folks are sticking to their loophole argument.

"Amendment 2 is riddled with loopholes: It is one thing to be compassionate; it's another to be reckless," the billboard says. "Does John Morgan know the difference?"

See also: John Morgan's Profanity-Laced Video: United for Care Responds


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Medical Marijuana Still Polling Strong Among Floridians

Categories: Marijuana

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Another poll, another strong showing for medical marijuana.

With Floridians hitting the polls in a mere two months, it's looking more and more like the majority favors legalizing marijuana. At least according to every poll that's come out since the initiative was put on the ballot.

The recent polling comes from Gravis Marketing, which says an overwhelming 64 percent of Floridians will vote for Amendment 2 come November. It's not the biggest margin we've seen, but it certainly keeps the narrative going that Floridians want to see medical weed legalized.

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John Morgan's Profanity-Laced Video: United for Care Responds

Categories: Marijuana

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Opposition to the legalization of medical marijuana has been circulating a cell-phone video showing United for Care benefactor John Morgan giving a profanity-laced speech to young voters about marijuana.

The anti-medical marijuana group No On 2 cut down a six-minute video of Morgan at a post-debate party last week, showing him ranting about marijuana to a rowdy crowd.

This, No On 2 is trying to show, is proof that the quest for legalized medical marijuana is a front to getting marijuana legalized outright in Florida.

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Robert Platshorn, Who Served Almost 30 Years in Prison for Pot, Is Finally a Free Man

Categories: Marijuana

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Photo courtesy of Robert Platshorn
The Black Tuna, Robert Platshorn (right), with former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.
Robert Platshorn is getting high today. That is, he's going on an airplane. High Times called him up yesterday to say that he's being gifted free tickets to this weekend's Cannabis Cup in Seattle. The reason? After 28 years in prison and six years on probation for smuggling weed, the West Palm Beach resident is finally a free man.

The 71-year-old was part of the Black Tuna Gang -- a sophisticated drug ring that became the feds' first big bust in the War on Drugs. In the ensuing years, he's become a pot icon. Not only has he served the longest-ever sentence for a marijuana-related crime but he's become an outspoken advocate on the benefits of medical cannabis for seniors.

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Founder of Medbox, RedBox of Pot, Has Green Dreams for Florida and Past Legal Troubles

Categories: Marijuana

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Photo by Dank Depot via Flickr cc
Never get high on your own supply. That classic piece of advice comes from Tony Montana in Scarface. But Pejman "Vincent" Mehdizadeh, a 36-year-old medical marijuana entrepreneur based out of Los Angeles, thinks the credo applies to dispensary workers just as much as cocaine kingpins.

In fact, the way he sees it, business owners would be better off relying on a giant safe than a human being. That was the idea behind Medbox -- the Redbox of medical weed.

"It's the equivalent of having an onsite auditor that doesn't take a break, require a salary, and doesn't steal," he says.

See also: Anti-Medical Marijuana Group Insinuates Pot Cookies Will Be Used for Rape

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