Who's Giving Money to Florida's Medical Marijuana Campaigns?

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A7nubis via wikimedia commons
With a November ballot initiative teed up for medical marijuana, the camps working both sides of the issue are now deep in the trenches, trying to lure voters. Cold, hard cash is obviously powering the efforts, which begs the question: Where's the money coming from?

In both camps, big-money donors are footing most of the bill. But in terms of the pro-pot movement, two main funders are being underwritten by thousands of contributors from across the state -- moms and pops and potheads opening their wallets for $50 and $100 donations.

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

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via YouTube
Florida's most recognizable personal injury attorney just gave $4 million more to support Amendment 2.
The first time Tim Morgan smoked Afghani weed, he thought, "I like this." The 20-year-old college student was hanging out in his Gainesville apartment with his high school girlfriend and about ten friends. Everyone was huddled around a single measly joint.

"I thought it wouldn't last long, and I didn't even want any," he says. "I was an athlete -- a soccer player -- and athletes didn't smoke pot. It was a jocks-versus-freaks mentality."
But hey, he reasoned as smoke filled the living room, it was the '70s. Everyone at his alma mater, Winter Park High, had gotten high on Mexican Gold at least once. And although the crumbly skag circulating Central Florida was never especially potent, this Afghani stuff just smelled different. But even more important, ever since an accident had left him partially paralyzed, Morgan had been desperate for a release from the wires that made his neck resemble the Eiffel Tower.


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South Florida Women Detained In Cuba For Smuggling Synthetic Marijuana

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A 20-year-old South Florida woman named Melissa Acosta and one other woman (unidentified for now) were detained in Cuba this week for allegedly trying to smuggle in synthetic weed.

El Nuevo Herald reported that Acosta's mother -- Jenny Valdes -- had told a local CBS affiliate that her daughter has a learning disability and went to Havana with another woman described as the mother of her son's fiancé.


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Will South Florida's Marijuana Nursery Be Near Lake Okeechobee?

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So far, 39 nurseries have been approved to grow low-THC marijuana under the Charlotte's Web bill recently passed by the Florida Legislature.

It hasn't been easy to get on the list, which requires -- among other things -- that a nursery has operated continuously for at least 30 years.

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Floridians Remember Their First Time Getting High

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Photo by Kyle Huninghake
Do you remember the first time you got high? Who were you with? How did it feel? Were you nervous? Excited?

Did you suddenly realize just how weird fingernails are?

Most of the 47 percent of Americans who have smoked weed probably have a lot to say about their first time.

"I know that I was screaming that I had brain damage."

That's one of them.

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4/20 News: Five Best Places to Get High in Broward County

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
4/20 is upon us, and that means two things: Jesus and marijuana. Because while thousands and thousands of the devout and faithful step into Churches to celebrate Easter and Jesus, thousands more will sink into bean bag chairs to celebrate cartoons and Cheez-Its.

But getting high is like buying a house: location is everything. So if you do participate in the upcoming stoner Christmas (responsibly, safely, and always with a designated driver) here are the best places to do it.

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"Professor of Cannabis" Is Ready to Teach Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs in Florida

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Medical Marijuana Tampa
Jeremy Bufford of Medical Marijuana Tampa
On Tuesday, I wondered aloud who was ready to make some money if medical marijuana becomes legal in Florida after November's vote. There was only one corporation with "marijuana" in its name listed in the state so far.

Since, then I heard from a few others who said they're waiting to see what happens with the vote or that they are purposely registering under names that don't have "marijuana" in the title because in other states that have legalized weed, it's been hard for pot businesses to get bank accounts. (While "drowning in cash" sounds like a great problem to have, there are crazy security concerns.) Don't worry, though -- pot entrepreneurs are out there salivating.

One man, Jeremy Bufford, proprietor of Medical Marijuana Tampa, has already pounced. He is preparing to open a chain of 15 dispensaries with a quality-control lab and next week will launch his school for medical marijuana workers and entrepreneurs. He has already hired five people and expects to hire 350 more, plus trigger a mini-real estate boom assuming the initiative passes and he signs leases on the properties he's already scoped out. His website is already advertising for 15 positions from "lead botanist" to "delivery driver" to "executive chef" to "professor of cannabis."

I spoke to Bufford at length about his preparations and predictions for the medical marijuana industry in Florida:

See also: Florida Supreme Court Approves Medical Marijuana Initiative

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Medical Marijuana: Who Will Profit? So Far, Only One "Marijuana" Corporation Is Listed in Florida

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Yesterday, the Supreme Court OK'd the language in a proposed ballot initiative, so Florida voters this November will get to vote on whether or not to legalize medical marijuana.

Surely, stoners compassionate medical professionals are going are going to come out in full force to vote this thing through and see that weed is enshrined in the state constitution. (I can't believe this is happening in my lifetime! Black president and weed in the constitution!)

So, next question: Who will profit?

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Florida Supreme Court Approves Medical Marijuana Initiative

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Photo by Philip Poston
In the week the Super Bowl is being played by two cities (Seattle, Denver) in states that legalize pot, Florida just got that much closer to being a part of the blaze.

The Florida Supreme Court has approved to have a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana be put on the ballot this November.

The court ruled 4-to-3 in favor of the ballot initiative on medical marijuana at 2:00 p.m. on Monday.

"By reading the proposed amendment as a whole," the judgement reads, "and construing the ballot title together with the ballot summary, we hold that the voters are given fair notice as to the chief purpose and scope of the proposed amendment, which is to allow a restricted use of marijuana for certain ―debilitating medical conditions."

See also: Florida Medical Marijuana Bill Author Jeff Clemens Says "It's About Compassion"

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Rick Scott Says He'll Vote Against Medical Marijuana

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"No medical marijuana for you EVER. NYAA!!"
In what is pretty much the least shocking news item you'll read all day, Gov. Rick Scott says he'll vote against the legalization of medical marijuana should it make it to the 2014 ballot.

And while 80 percent of Floridians are for the legalization of medical marijuana and Scott's popularity is slightly above getting a root canal and his likely challenger, Charlie Crist, has already publicly come out for medical weed, Scott remains steadfast in his GOPerness when it comes to the issue, essentially saying he understands people are sick and need it, but drugs are bad.

See also: Charlie Crist Says Medical Marijuana Is A Matter of Compassion


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