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House OKs in big way bill to expand medical marijuana

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The Florida House overwhelming voted Thursday to expand medical marijuana in Florida, teeing up a vote in the Senate on a similar proposal later this week. Lawmakers voted 99-16 to approve a bill (HB 307/HB 1313) to expand the Right to Try Act to include medical cannabis. Under the proposal, eligible patients — defined as someone with on year left to live — can purchase medical marijuana from dispensing organizations. It also allows those organizations to grow and distribute medical…

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Medical marijuana will be on ballot in November

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A proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical use of marijuana will be back on the ballot in November and organizers said Wednesday that growing public support and a larger voter turnout in a presidential election year should help pass the measure that narrowly failed in 2014. The group organizing a petition drive to put the issue on the ballot now has 692,981 certified voter signatures, nearly 10,000 more than it needed to put the proposed amendment on the ballot. “We…

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Tampa Bay residents overwhelmingly support medical marijuana

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When personal injury attorney John Morgan’s medical marijuana amendment failed in 2014 at the ballot box, it did so with 58 percent approval. In many other states, that would have meant it was approved. So now he’s giving it another go. If results of the latest Tampa Bay Times/WTSP poll are any indication, he’s on his way to an easy victory this time around. According to the poll, nearly three-quarters of Tampa Bay residents support legalizing marijuana for medical uses.…

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Ken Burke forms marijuana civil citation task force

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Clerk of the Court Ken Burke appears to have taken an unexpected interest in a countywide effort to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a civil offense rather than criminal. During a Pinellas County Commission meeting this month, Burke briefly weighed in on the issue saying the proposition being discussed may not be consistent with other minor offenses considered a misdemeanor. He listed open container laws as an example, asking whether that would still be a criminal…

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U.S. Postal Service says mailing marijuana ads is illegal

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

The U.S. Postal Service says it’s illegal to mail materials containing advertising for marijuana products, even in states that have legalized the federally controlled substance. The policy statement released this week comes in response to a letter from Oregon’s Congressional delegation asking the service to clarify its policy on the issue. In November, a memo distributed in the Portland postal district said it was unlawful for newspaper outlets to run marijuana ads and use the U.S. mail for delivery. The…

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Like St. Pete, Pinellas County now considering civil citations for minor marijuana possession

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Implementation is still a way off, but County Commissioners have agreed to take a closer look at the way Pinellas polices minor marijuana offenses. Commissioner Ken Welch presented the idea of issuing a civil citation to those caught with small amounts of marijuana to his fellow Board members at Tuesday evening’s regular meeting. According to Welch, he and other members of the Board have heard a lot from the public about the topic since Miami-Dade County adopted a similar ordinance back…

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St. Pete City Council takes first step in adopting civil citation program for marijuana offenders

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A St. Pete City Council committee unanimously approved taking a closer look at implementing a civil citation program for adult marijuana offenders. The ordinance would likely apply to individuals over the age of 18 caught with 20 grams or less of marijuana. State legislation already provides a similar provision for juveniles. Instead of being charged with a misdemeanor, the offenders would be given a citation. For those who couldn’t afford the ticket, a community service option would also likely be…

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