The state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday for and against legalizing medical marijuana. Their decision will determine whether a proposed state constitutional amendment will get on the ballot next November.
If the amendment is approved, it would allow doctors to prescribe pot under Florida law. It would also allow registered, regulated marijuana businesses to cultivate, transport, and sell the drug.
The campaign to bring medical marijuana to Florida will face what may be a massive roadblock on Thursday. Florida’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case brought by Attorney General Pam Bondi. She says the proposed language for the ballot gives too many people access to the drug.
While the case is about what the voters would see on the ballot University of Miami law professor Donald Jones says the court will have to consider the entire argument for medical marijuana.
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.
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.
A patient, we’ll call him John, called my office several years ago, frantic over the behavior of his son Aaron. “My son thinks there are helicopters circling our home, following his movements,” he said.
At my office the next day, dad was frantic. Aaron, who appeared disheveled and preoccupied, presented his experiences in a matter-of-fact style. He was certain some authority had singled him out to be placed under surveillance. He had no insight into the psychotic nature of his thinking.
National opinion surveys are showing increasing support for medical uses of marijuana. Patients are puffing away legally in 18 states and the climate for medicinal pot has even become more welcoming in Florida.
Is Florida about to become State No. 19?
The question arose during the WLRN/Miami Herald Town Hall before the legislative session began. The questioner was Juan Palenzuela of Hollywood: