medical marijuana

Florida's Compassionate Use law allows people suffering from specific conditions like seizures to use low-THC marijuana.
Brett Levin

Every morning this week, we’re taking a look at amendments on the Florida ballot.

Amendment 2 is a measure that would make medical marijuana legal in the state.  The amendment’s critics say it will lead to full-scale legalization, but supporters argue these fears are overblown.

Tschetter testifying
The Florida Channel

For the second day in a row, a Tallahassee administrative court heard a challenge against Florida’s proposed rules governing non-smoked, low-THC medical marijuana. Two farms and a trade group are trying to change the process for choosing the state’s five suppliers. The rulemaking is authorized under this year's Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act, which permits patients to use cannabis that doesn't induce a high. 

News 13 screen shot

The three candidates in Florida’s Attorney General race debated Monday in what is expected to be the only event with all three for this election cycle. Among the topics was a discussion over an amendment that could legalize medical marijuana in the state.

AG Debate: Constitutional Amendment #2

The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida is trying to cut through the politics of medical marijuana by giving voters just the facts. The foundation is holding a series of question-and-answer sessions across the state with both proponents and opponents of marijuana legalization.

The debate around medical marijuana has been raging for months in the run-up to November, when voters will decide whether to legalize the drug for medical uses in Florida.

MGN Online

Ahead of any general election, it can be easy for voters to get confused. And, at least one area of Florida is reporting confusion over the 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms, to a medical marijuana initiative known as Amendment 2 set to appear on the November ballot.

Unlike the last general election, where voters were faced with 11 state constitutional amendments, this year they’ll only be faced with three—not counting local ballot initiatives.

Hopeful Marijuana Growers Challenge Florida's Proposed Lottery System

Sep 19, 2014
medical marijuana
Mark via Flickr

Three challenges have been lodged in attempts to block Florida’s proposed medical marijuana rules. Two plant nurseries and a marijuana trade association are fighting provisions they say are unfair to growers.

Growers oppose the lottery system for choosing the state’s five authorized nurseries. They also take aim at a provision allowing investors to partner with an unlimited number of nurseries. Growers say that’s an unfair advantage because they can enter the lottery only once.

medical marijuana
Mark via Flickr

A longtime opponent of medical marijuana, the Florida Medical Association this week has officially come out against a proposed constitutional amendment voters will consider in November. The lobby representing more than 20,000 physicians is raising concerns over Amendment Two’s breadth.

Capital Report: 08-01-2014

Aug 4, 2014

Today [on Friday], the Florida Department of Health held its second public hearing to help shape proposed medical marijuana rules. With one strain of the drug already legalized, regulators are building the framework for growing and distributing it. As Jessica Palombo reports, the rulemaking is drawing the attention of a host of entrepreneurs who expect a more expansive medical marijuana amendment to pass in November.

Figi commenting
The Florida Channel

Today the Florida Department of Health held its second public hearing to help shape proposed medical marijuana rules. With one strain of the drug already legalized, regulators are building the framework for growing and distributing it. The rulemaking is drawing the attention of a host of entrepreneurs who expect a more expansive medical marijuana amendment to pass in November.

Brett Levin via Flickr

Experts say Floridians fed up with the war on drugs are driving broad support for medical marijuana in the state.  A third consecutive Quinnipiac University poll finds more than 80 percent of Floridians support physician-directed use of the drug.

conference center room
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

At a Department of Health workshop in Tallahassee today, hopeful marijuana growers, lobbyists and others voiced concerns about Florida’s proposed rules governing medical cannabis. By the beginning of next year, the state can select up to five growers authorized to supply non-high-inducing marijuana under the so-called “Charlotte’s Web” law.

MGN Online

Governor Rick Scott has signed close to 70 bills into law this week—most of them Friday. They include a slew of gun-related measures, a controversial voucher expansion bill, and a bill dealing with medical marijuana.

Charlotte's Web

Among the high profile bills the Governor has already signed includes a bill that would legalize a low strain of marijuana known as “Charlotte’s Web” to help treat seizures.

MGN Online

Governor Rick Scott signed three more bills into law Monday. It includes a measure that bans six new additional synthetic drugs as part of Attorney General’s Pam Bondi’s war on synthetic drug abuse. Bondi’s spokeswoman Jenn Meale says it now makes it a third degree felony to possess or sell those substances.

Want to learn about starting up your own Marijuana business? Well, there’s a seminar coming to a city near you over the next couple months.  It’s offered by the Cannabis Career Institute, which according to its website, is America’s first and premier marijuana business training center.

A neon sign reading medical with a marijuana leaf beneath it.
Chuck Coker via Flickr

According to recent polls, a plan to allow medical marijuana in Florida enjoys strong support among the state’s voters.   Opponents of the proposed amendment to the state constitution are ramping up the rhetoric.  But some, including one former attorney general, say the claims coming from organizations like Don’t Let Florida Go To Pot, may be a bit overblown.

Capital Report: 06-13-2014

Jun 13, 2014

Governor Rick Scott recently signed the so-called Immigrant Tuition bill into law that would grant in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants. Since near the end of Session, Scott has been touting the legislation and even did a week-long tour this week. While it’s publicized more as a Hispanic win, Sascha Cordner reports on other segments of the immigrant population who will be also affected by the new law.

Huffington Post

Governor Rick Scott has about two weeks to act on more than a 100 bills delivered to his desk Thursday. They include a bill granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants as well as a bill legalizing a mild strain of marijuana for medical purposes—a couple controversial measures Scott has already said he’ll sign.

Charlotte's Web

Capital Report: 05-09-2014

May 9, 2014

Nearly a million Floridians have gained insurance though federal exchanges as part of the Affordable Care Act. Many of those people are seeing big savings on their insurance costs, courtesy of subsidies they’ve received from the federal government, but as Lynn Hatter reports, hundreds of thousands more Floridians are still left with nothing.

Florida House

A couple of political experts are weighing on whether the Republican-led Legislature as well as the Governor moved more to the center this year with some of the bills that passed this Session.

The push to legalize some forms of medical marijuana is gaining traction after a bill approved by the Legislature is on its way to Gov. Rick Scott's desk.

The bill would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients who suffer from epilepsy, seizures or severe muscle spasms. The strain of marijuana in the bill is known as “Charlotte’s Web.”  It has less THC, the ingredient that causes users to feel high, and more of a non-euphoric compound called CBD.

Capital Report: 04-21-2014

Apr 21, 2014

The Florida House has unveiled its proposal to overhaul the state’s troubled child welfare agency. Lynn Hatter reports it’s a continuation of efforts by lawmakers to  revamp the agency  after a Miami Herald Investigation revealed more than three-dozen children who had previous contact with the department, died.

Deckerhoff testimony
The Florida Channel

A passionately, tearfully debated bill legalizing non-smoked medical marijuana is headed to the Florida House floor after passing its final committee today. But some who voted for the measure warned they could not continue supporting it in its current form.

During Monday’s debate, several legislators acknowledged they’re part of a national sea change on the issue of medical marijuana.

Rep. Elaine Schwartz (D-Hollywood) brought up today’s “Diane Rehm Show” discussion of America’s attitude shift toward marijuana.

Capital Report: 03-05-2014

Mar 5, 2014

A bill aimed at giving Floridians access to a type of medical marijuana that doesn’t get people high advanced past its first House committee with near-unanimous support today [Wednesday]. But, as Jessica Palombo reports, its sponsor acknowledges changes are likely in store after fellow lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee raised concerns.

Stan Jastrzebski

Democratic lawmakers have drafted a 150-page primer for how the state should regulate medical marijuana if its use is approved by voters in the fall. But if their bill is passed, Rep. Joe Saunders (D-Orlando) and Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) may have to answer to those in their party hoping marijuana voters are also Democratic voters. Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale) stood up for his colleagues, but did allow that some members of his party are privately cringing.

Michael Ciaglo / The Gazette

Some are urging caution about a new effort to legalize Charlotte’s Web, a small strain of marijuana aimed at helping a rare form of epilepsy that children have called Dravet Syndrome. Jorge Viera is a biomedical engineering professor at Florida International University.

“Even though there could be a very positive effect with the type of cannabinoid, this is something that requires personalized medicine. So, it needs to be discussed for each individual, and on the basis of a medical doctor.”