First Uruguay, now Jamaica. Last week, the Caribbean island became the western hemisphere’s second country to make marijuana possession OK. Is this a trend?
Ganja, as Jamaicans call marijuana, has long been part of their culture. The island’s Rastafarian religious movement promotes it as a means of enlightenment. Still, marijuana has been illegal there. Now Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller says Jamaica will decriminalize small amounts of ganja – up to 57 grams, or 2 ounces. Other Caribbean governments look poised to follow suit.
Bills to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Florida have been filed for this session of the Legislature. So far, sponsors have little to show for their work -- except they've now been accused of jeopardizing the cause of medical marijuana, which will be on the ballot in November for Florida voters.
When Sen. Marco Rubio was growing up, his parents gave him an edict:
“From a very early age they used to tell us, ‘tu tienes que estudiar,’ which means, ‘you have to study.’ So growing up I don’t ever recall not considering going to college,” Rubio told an audience at Miami Dade College on Monday.
The organization trying to legalize medical marijuana in Florida is baffled and annoyed by a PolitiFact conclusion that their proposal would create one of the least regulated environments for medical marijuana in the country.
In the zero-sum game of partisan politics, it's not too often that a pollster can say what Peter Brown said Thursday morning while introducing the latest results of the Quinnipiac University poll on the Florida's governor's race.
"To some degree, this poll has good news for both candidates," said Brown, assistant director of the survey.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:44 pm
Over the past year, Americans' support for legalizing pot has surged 10 percentage points.
That's according to Gallup, which has been asking the question since 1969. That means that 58 percent of Americans — a clear majority for the first time in more than 40 years — support legalizing marijuana and just 39 percent say the opposite.
To see the dramatic shift in public opinion, just look at this historical graph from Gallup:
The state is starting the process of figuring out how much it would cost to legalize medical marijuana. Private groups are gathering petition signatures to put a proposed constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot.
All citizen initiatives that propose changes to the Constitution must undergo a financial review.
Economists for the Florida Legislature will spend the next few weeks running the numbers.
Vesselka McAlarney with the Office of Demographic and Economic Research looked at data from other states that have legalized the drug.
10/15/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents examines the 75-year prohibition of cannabis in the United States. 20 states have now approved medical marijuana consumption . . . two states have legislated limited recreational use. 52% of Americans, according to a Pew Research poll, support the decriminalization of cannabis.
This article was originally published in October and has been updated.
Uruguayans love it when you tell them what a resort paradise Punta del Este is. Or how tasty the country’s Tannat wine is. Or what a stable democracy their small nation (pop. 3.5 million) has turned out to be.
What they don’t like is to hear Uruguay called, as many do label it today, “the Switzerland of South America.” Not that Uruguayans dislike Switzerland. But many if not most of them think the comparison is cliché, exaggerated, inaccurate, condescending.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 1:53 pm
Canada is ushering in what it projects to be a $1.3 billion medical marijuana free market this week, as it replaces small and homegrown pot production with quality-controlled marijuana produced by large farms. The market could eventually serve up to 450,000 Canadians, according to government estimates.
A medical marijuana group says it has cleared its first major hurdle to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot: Collecting enough voter signatures to trigger Florida Supreme Court review of the initiative's language.
Since July, People United for Medical Marijuana collected at least 110,000 signatures -- well in excess of the 68,314 needed to start the review, said the group's treasurer and director, Ben Pollara.