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

in Statewide by

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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New wrinkles in Florida’s medical marijuana implementation raise doubts, concerns

in Peter/Top Headlines by

I’ve not been shy about expressing my concerns about the implementation of Amendment 2, many of which stem from the fact that I’m the father of a young daughter. From that perspective, it’s imperative to me that Florida exercises necessary prudence and caution while putting in place the mandate from voters on medical marijuana. I’m not ashamed to say: “Surely, not in my backyard!” Call me NIMBY. Call me old fashioned. Just don’t call me Shirley. The existing seven licenses…

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Hillsborough sheriffs look to keep drugs, money siezed after tasing suicidal man

in Local Courts by

After telling friends on Facebook he was suicidal, a Tampa man was tased by sheriff’s deputies, who found marijuana and money in the home. Now the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is going to court to keep the cash. Andres Eduardo Javage, 30, is a self-employed mechanic and the founder of Auto Nutrition in Tampa, which offers vehicle maintenance service at customer’s homes. On Feb. 15, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call at 11422 Wheeling Dr. in Tampa,…

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Ben Pollara: Medical marijuana implementation for the 29, 48 … or 71 percent?

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues claims to have polled Floridians on whether they want marijuana legalized. They do not. Undisclosed interests hired a political consultant, who then hired Donald Trump‘s pollster to ask the same question. They got the same answer: 48 percent oppose legalization, while 46 percent support it. I have two questions that don’t necessitate public opinion research to answer: – Who cares? – Why are we even talking about this? Medical marijuana has now twice been before Florida…

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Hillsborough County Commission opts to reject controversial scoring plan for medical marijuana applicants

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although medical marijuana became the law of the land after Floridians overwhelmingly supported it in 2016, there remains considerable angst among its supporters on how state and local leaders will implement the legislation. Medical marijuana supporters (and some opponents) filled the County Center in downtown Tampa Tuesday night, with many of them blasting the county’s proposed licensing rules on who can run medical marijuana dispensaries in the county. The ordinance would offer points to applicants on a 100-point scale under…

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Guns, gambling and taxes: Legislators return to work

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Once the Florida Legislature kicks off its 60-day Session March 7, legislators are expected to pass, or kill, dozens of measures dealing with everything from abortion to gambling and the environment. So far, more than 2,000 bills have been filed, but in the end, legislators usually pass fewer than 300 pieces of legislation each year. Here’s a look at some of the top issues this Session: DEATH PENALTY: Florida legislators are expected to quickly pass a measure that would require…

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With push to legalize marijuana, teens get false impression on pot safety

in Peter/Top Headlines by

A push to decriminalize marijuana could prove a slippery slope, by giving kids the false impression on the safety of a drug increasingly legal nationwide. Some believe a similar problem could happen in Florida, especially after voters passed Amendment 2, which began the process of legalizing medical marijuana throughout the Sunshine State. A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics found as more states legalize the drug for adult use, a greater number of teenagers think it is safe.…

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