United for Care's Ben Pollara to Debate Former Drug Czar Who Once Claimed Smoking Weed Leads to AIDS

Categories: The Pot

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Now that the Florida Supreme Court has approved to have a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana on the ballot this November, the group responsible for getting it there, United for Care, is all about getting the word out.

This week alone, the group has a daylong campaign scheduled to call registered voters and get the word out about Amendment 2.

Also on the docket will be United for Care's campaign manager, Ben Pollara, going head-to-head in a debate with former Ronald Reagan drug czar Carlton E. Turner.

Turner is famous for coming up with the "Just Say No" campaign that bombarded radio, TV, and comic books back in the 1980s, warning kids of the dangers of drugs. He's also known for claiming that marijuana is not only a gateway drug to other illegal substances but apparently also the gateway drug to AIDS.

"Marijuana leads to homosexuality, the breakdown of the immune system, and ultimately, AIDS," Turner famously said in 1986.

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Fort Lauderdale Man Busted Transporting Pot Worth Over $300,000 From California

Categories: Crime, The Pot

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Gainesville Police
Michael John Cefola had been driving for days, transporting cargo in his vehicle all the way from California. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, or maybe it was just carelessness. But Cefola couldn't keep his blue Chevy four-door from swerving in and out of the lane on a Gainesville highway.

A police officer noticed this and pulled Cefola over. Turns out, the officer happened to be a member of the Gainesville-Alachua County Drug Task Force.

Also, turns out Cefola was allegedly transporting about 90 pounds of pot worth around $356,000 on the streets.

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Raul Medina, Former Wynwood Drug Kingpin and Influential DJ, Gets Ahead of Medical Weed Game in Broward

Categories: The Pot

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C. Stiles
Raul Medina Jr. was the subject of a 2007 New Times cover story.
Raul Medina Jr. walks into a Starbucks in Hollywood's Young Circle and asks for a cup of black coffee with light hazelnut syrup and exactly two ice cubes. Better-known as DJ Raw, Medina brought hip-hop to Miami from his native South Bronx and founded Hoodstock, a free, big-name festival in Wynwood in the '90s. He's also a former cocaine kingpin who did a ten-year prison stint for trafficking. Today he's a 50-year-old vegan father of five who prefers the quiet life up in Broward to the neighborhood he helped transform into a graffiti artist's mecca.

"When I got out, people were like 'Let's go take over 40th Street again,'‚ÄČ Medina says. "I was like, 'You can keep 40th Street; I'm going to Broward.'"


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Ten Reasons to Vote Against Medical Marijuana in Florida

Categories: The Pot

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Photo by Philip Poston
Kevin Sabet is not one of the more than 70 percent of Floridians who want Amendment 2 to pass in November.

Sabet -- director of the drug policy institute at the University of Florida and a professor at the college of medicine there too -- is one of the few experts who's been outspoken in opposition to the medical marijuana movement. Originally from California, he witnessed the effects of legalization there and claims it's one of the reasons he's so passionately against medical marijuana. He's worked in the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations, so he insists that he comes at the issue with a nonpartisan point of view. He's cofounder and director of Smarter Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and works closely with Patrick Kennedy on the left and David Frum (former speechwriter for George W. Bush) on the right.

Sabet spoke up to explain his side of the medical marijuana debate.

See also: United For Care's Ben Pollara Counters Arguments by Anti-Medical Marijuana Crowd

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United for Care's Ben Pollara Blasts Child Protective Services Investigation of Medical Marijuana Advocate

Categories: The Pot

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Photo by Philip Poston

United for Care campaign manager Ben Pollara is expressing outrage after a Florida woman was abruptly visited by Florida Child Protective Services last week on an anonymous tip that she had been administering marijuana to her son, who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy.

Turns out, Renee Petro was not administering any marijuana to her 12-year-old son, Branden. Petro has, however, been an outspoken advocate for medical marijuana. The real crime, it would seem, was the intrusion of CPS agents arriving at her home to interrogate her 9-year-old daughter and the nurse who takes care of Branden.

See also: 74 Percent of Floridians Support Medical Marijuana, According to Latest Poll


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74 Percent of Floridians Support Medical Marijuana, According to Latest Poll

Categories: The Pot

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Another poll, another strong showing for medical marijuana in Florida.

According to a new University of North Florida poll, 74 percent of Floridians say they support and will vote "yes" for Proposition 2 in November, which would legalize the use of medical marijuana.

This, along with the recent news that a House committee approved the measure for Charlotte's Web, it looks like the Sunshine State is well on its way to allowing medical weed.

The UNF poll, however, seems to crush any dreams of legalizing pot for recreational use. But, one measure at a time!

See also: Florida Medical Marijuana's Biggest Opponents and Threats

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United for Care's Ben Pollara Counters Arguments by Anti-Medical-Marijuana Crowd

Categories: The Pot

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Photo by Philip Poston
United for Care campaign manager Ben Pollara announced in January that enough signatures had been collected to force a vote on whether to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. He stopped gathering petitions and started working to get voters to the polls to vote in favor of the constitutional amendment this November.

While polls show that the measure has a high likelihood of passing, several opponents of medical marijuana are campaigning against the initiative, stressing pot's addictive properties and already-legal alternatives.

Pollara spoke up to counter four of their main arguments.

Simply refer to this blog the next time your grandma tries to compare Amendment 2 to Reefer Madness at the dinner table.

See also: Florida Medical Marijuana's Biggest Opponents and Threats


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Florida Medical Marijuana's Biggest Opponents and Threats

Categories: The Pot

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Florida seems to be well on its way to getting medical marijuana legalized. Voters this November are going to be able to decide on their own whether weed should be made legal for folks with debilitating diseases, and a bill that would decriminalize the use of a strain of medical marijuana for kids with severe epilepsy has recently passed a Senate committee.

On top of that, polls consistently show that the majority of Floridians support the legalization of medical marijuana. Some polls say that up to 70 percent are cool with medical weed.

So, this should be as automatic as Ray Allen at the free-throw line. All signs point to Florida joining the likes of Colorado and Washington and getting with the times. Right? Right?

NOT SO FAST.

So-called Drug Warriors are already on the warpath to soak their feet in the soft-serve ice-cream machine and ruin everything. And make no mistake, these people are committed, they have money, and most of all, they pounce on the narratives that The Pot is nothing but an evil, vile weed that'll turn the entire state into Cheech and Chong zombies.

Here now are five people who could derail medical marijuana:

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Men Plan to Open Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Jupiter, Stuart

Categories: The Pot

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On Friday, January 24, Chad Cooke and Andy Monet went out for a celebratory beer. Earlier that day, election officials had announced that enough petition signatures had been verified to force a vote on whether to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. The duo had been working tirelessly for weeks on the petition drive.

Like other entrepreneurs throughout the state, Cooke and Monet are hoping that the constitutional amendment will pass when it goes to voters in November -- and that shortly afterward, they can cash in.

It's still a gamble -- no one knows whether the amendment will pass; even if it does, the state health department will have six months to set up the regulatory framework; and individual cities and towns may add their own rules on top of that. Despite the risks and the fallability of predictions, some businesses are maneuvering to be among the first in the game.

See also: Tampa Bakery Poised to Sell Medical Marijuana Edibles

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Florida Senator Files Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

Categories: The Pot
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Sen. Dwight Bullard
Well, here's something you can fine under An Idea That Has ZERO Chance of Getting Passed but Is Totally a Great Idea Anyway: A Florida senator has filed a bill that would allow people to smoke weed for recreation.

Sen. Dwight Bullard (D-Miami) filed SB 1562, a bill that, if passed (Ha! Haaa!!) would allow Floridians who are 21 or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot, in addition to allowing folks to cultivate up to six marijuana plants.

Sen. Dwight Bullard. Hero? Hero.

See also: Bill to Legalize "Charlotte's Web" Marijuana Filed by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz

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