medical marijuana

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.” 

Florida Channel

The Florida Attorney General’s race is heating up as incumbent AG Pam Bondi sparred Wednesday with two Democrats running to oppose her. Medical marijuana was among the hot button issues discussed during an all-day news event at the Capitol.

Florida Supreme Court

This fall, Florida voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled 4-to-3 that the amendment’s summary and title are not misleading and can appear on the ballot.

Just a few days after elections supervisors confirmed campaigners have collected more than the required number of voter signatures, the high court removed the final hurdle in the amendment’s path to the ballot.

LHatter / WFSU News

In downtown Jacksonville, across the street from City Hall, LaTara Graham solicits signatures from passers-by.

She’s a paid petition gatherer with two proposals in hand: One advocating the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use, and the other calling on the state to set aside money each year for land and water conservation:

Florida Supreme Court justices seem split over whether the summary of a proposed amendment legalizing medical marijuana should be kept off next year’s ballot. The attorney general’s office argued before the court Thursday that the summary tells two lies about what the amendment does.

MGN Online

The same poll that shows Charlie Crist leading Rick Scott in a hypothetical matchup in next year’s Florida governor’s race also shows Floridians overwhelmingly support marijuana use for medicinal purposes, but aren’t in favor of changing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. Peter Brown is the Assistant Director of Quinnipiac University’s Polling Institute, which conducted the survey.

Chuck Coker

When Floridians choose their next governor in 2014, they might also decide whether to legalize medical marijuana. But the state attorney general and legislative leaders don’t want the question to make it onto ballots as it’s currently written.

Medical marijuana legalization advocates and opponents are readying arguments they’ll make before the state supreme court next month. The high court will rule on whether a proposed constitutional amendment is misleading.

Capital Report: 11-08-2013

Nov 8, 2013

After a legislative bid to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law failed this week, the focus now turns to whether opponents of the existing law will now throw their weight behind a proposal aimed at tweaking the law.  Sascha Cordner reports.

State financial estimators don’t know whether medical marijuana would positively or negatively affect state revenue if voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment legalizing the drug. Summaries explaining the unknown financial impact are ready for the 2014 ballot after estimators concluded their conference Monday afternoon.

Estimators wrestled with wording as they crafted 75-word and 500-word explanations. 


State financial estimators say they need more information before predicting how legalizing medical marijuana would affect tax revenue. The financial estimating conference is meeting this week to consider an initiative possibly headed for the 2014 Florida ballot. 

If it’s deemed medical, pot could be exempted from sales taxes like medicines are. But Office of Demographic and Economic Research Coordinator Amy Baker says, as the proposed amendment is written, it appears sales of the plants and smoking devices would be taxed.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

The only former state officeholder currently seeking the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nomination took a back seat during remarks made in Tallahassee Thursday to a man not even in the race.   The well-known Orlando lawyer who employs Charlie Crist sure made it sound like his friend will enter the race.

Crist 2014?

Medical Marijuana Debate Lights Up In Florida

Mar 22, 2013
Marijuana, Medical marijana

It’s a busy afternoon at the NORML table at the University of Central Florida as students stop by to discuss their views on pot legalization and pick up buttons, literature and tote bags. The National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, or NORML,  advocates complete legalization, including for recreational use, but currently the group is collecting petition signatures for a constitutional amendment to legalize only the medicinal use of the drug.  

Fla. Bill Would Legalize, Regulate Medical Marijuana

Feb 28, 2013

A bill legalizing medical marijuana in Florida is up for consideration by the Legislature. The bill’s sponsors say it should create jobs, generate tax revenue and cut costs for law enforcement. But some drug policy experts continue opposing any legalization of smoked marijuana.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has denied a group’s petition to pave the way for legalizing medical marijuana in the state. The Florida Cannabis Action Network has until the end of the week to plan its response.

Cannabis Action Network Executive Director Jodi James wants people to be able to smoke marijuana prescribed by their doctors without being criminals.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

It’s been tried before in Florida and failed. But this week, an advocacy group is working on a new way to make medical marijuana legal in the state. The group wants to get the drug reclassified as a less dangerous substance, a path they’re hoping will lead to doctors being able to prescribe it in Florida.

Jessica Palombo / WFSU-FM

An advocacy group is asking Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, to make it legal to prescribe medical marijuana in the state. The Cannabis Action Network presented Bondi’s staff with a petition on Tuesday morning.

Under Florida law, Bondi has 30 days to respond to the group’s request. Cannabis Action Network executive director Jodi James says, her group is asking Bondi to change marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I illegal drug in the state.