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Cannabis

John Morgan’s suit says smoking pot actually good for the lungs

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Medical marijuana advocate John Morgan says cannabis smoking doesn’t “impair lung function” and even “increase(s) lung capacity,” as part of his lawsuit to be filed against the state Thursday. Florida Politics on Wednesday night acquired a copy of the 15-page complaint that Morgan says he will file in Leon Circuit Civil court in Tallahassee—against which a leading House Republican has already said the state will prevail. Morgan, the main backer of the marijuana amendment that passed last year, has said he would sue because…

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Carlos Guillermo Smith, Amy Mercado say special session needed to end cannabis legal limbo

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Saying that the current limbo of law is bad for doctors and patients, Democratic state Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Amy Mercado pleaded with Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Legislature leaders to call a special session to deal with medical marijuana. “We are here because 71 percent of Florida voters approved the constitutional right to medical cannabis. But we also are here because unfortunately once again Tallahassee politicians have thwarted the will of the people and they have refused to…

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Bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana likely dead for this year

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A Senate proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana was temporarily postponed, effectively putting an end to any hopes that legislators would act on the legislation this year. Sen. Jeff Clemens, the Lake Worth Democrat sponsoring the bill (SB 1662), asked that the Senate Criminal Justice Committee temporarily postponed the measure after a 15-minute discussion Monday. While Clemens said he was thankful that Sen. Randolph Bracy, the committee’s chairman, decided to hear the bill, he said he knew…

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Treat medical marijuana “like medicine,” advocates say

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The right way to put the new constitutional amendment on medical marijuana into effect is to “treat (it) like medicine,” supporters said Tuesday.  The Senate Health Policy committee held its first workshop for the 2017 Legislative Session on medical cannabis implementation. “The states that have done it poorly, with a lack of regulation, allowed folks to market and advertise the notion of getting high,” said Ben Pollara, who leads Florida for Care, the organization advocating for “a strong, well-regulated medical marijuana system.”…

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Implementation of medical marijuana amendment brings together unlikely allies

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With establishment lobbyists now representing it, the medical marijuana cause appears to have become—grab your pearls—respectable. Florida for Care, the nonprofit organization that is advocating for “well-regulated” medicinal pot in the state, has hired Brecht Heuchan and The Mayernick Group to advocate for its interests. Heuchan, who says he voted against the medical marijuana constitutional amendment this November, has worked for Gov. Rick Scott’s Let’s Get to Work PAC. He’ll lobby the executive agencies. “I didn’t want Florida to be like California but my vote…

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Bong ban doesn’t apply to medical pot, advocate says

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Florida’s bong ban, as toothless as critics say it may be, now is preempted by the recently approved constitutional amendment on medical marijuana. That’s according to Ben Pollara, campaign manager of United for Care. The group has fought for the ballot initiative, which first failed in 2014 before passing this year with 71 percent of the vote. State law prohibits devices such as “metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes,” commonly known as “bongs,” when used to smoke…

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Backers release ‘intent’ statement for medical pot amendment

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The team behind this year’s medical marijuana amendment has released an 11-page “intent” memo for voters to “understand the purposes” of the initiative. “Voters should vote for an amendment fully understanding the intent of the drafters,” said the document, obtained by FloridaPolitics.com on Monday. “Fostering voter understanding is the central purpose of this memo, and we do so by expressing the intent of the individuals who drafted the language.” The proposed change, which will be Amendment 2 on the November…

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