Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Tag archive


An inmate’s story highlights need for mandatory minimum drug sentencing reform

in Peter by

Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws are working as planned, putting thousands of people behind bars for an extended period in the wake of the state’s devastating opioid epidemic. While these measures aim to be tough on crime, they also come with a host of unintended consequences, including prison overcrowding, high costs and disproportionate punishment that often ruins the lives of nonviolent offenders battling drug addiction. Consider Kenneth Miller, serving 12 years at Lawtey Correctional Institute, to be followed by 10…

Keep Reading

Florida’s drug laws are giving me a pain in the ass

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

No one disputes that opiate addiction is a national problem. Statistics show that over 52,000 Americans died because of drug abuse, or about 142 people a day. One-third of those deaths are from opioids prescribed by doctors. Although a national problem, Florida led the nation in opioid abuse until recently. Individuals from all over the southeastern United States flooded into Florida to visit our “pill mills.” I-75 was known as the gateway to easy drugs. In fact, the Drug Enforcement…

Keep Reading

Pain, pain, go away: Finding a middle ground in Florida’s opioid epidemic

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Opioid abuse is a growing medical problem in the nation and in Florida. In 2015, 52,404 Americans died as a result of drug abuse, or about 142 individuals every day. This makes opioid abuse a greater killer than automobile accidents or gun-inflicted homicides and suicides. About one-third of the deaths are from opioids prescribed by physicians. For several years, Florida led the nation in opioid deaths. I-75 was known as the “Oxy Express,” because so many out-of-state residents headed to…

Keep Reading

Will 1030 or 7066 put medicinal marijuana in the ground?

in Top Headlines by

Growers, investors, and patient advocates are reading state Rep. Matt Gaetz’s words on medicinal marijuana as if they were ancient tasseographers reading tea leaves. They are trying to discern whether medicinal marijuana will become available under SB 1030, approved in 2014, or SPB 7066, which is moving through the Florida Senate. “What are they doing in Tallahassee? Where are we going with this?” asked Kerry Herndon, a Central Florida grower interested in one of the licenses authorizing the cultivation of medicinal…

Keep Reading

Latest problems for Brian Blair: Son arrested on three drug charges

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Florida state House candidate Brian Blair’s son, Brett Leslie Blair, was arrested last night on three drug charges: possession of marijuana, oxycodone and drug paraphernalia. Update:  You cannot link directly to the site, so enter this address in your browser: Developing…

Keep Reading

Sunday’s editorial pages

in Statewide by

St. Petersburg Times – Poor Stewards Of Our Money: “As St. Petersburg Times staff writer Bill Varian details in today’s Perspective, many local governments went on a binge when times were good, expanding their budgets, giving generous raises, building new facilities and hiring to staff them. And now that times are bad, the choices and the cutbacks are far worse than they would have been had governments been more fiscally circumspect. In the boom times, government failed to plan for…

Keep Reading

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
Go to Top