Today on Context Florida: marijuana leader, climate change, gambling ban and Jeb Bush

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Today on Context Florida:

Whether it is accountability in education, protection of environmentally sensitive lands, or transparency in government, Florida has led on issues with national implications, Peter Schorsch writes. Now, the state has another prospect in the burgeoning movement of medical marijuana regulation. We need to get it right, Schorsch says, because Florida has a unique opportunity to become a national model for producing and dispensing this stigmatized class of potentially lifesaving drugs.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist says if elected governor again in November, he would again issue executive orders dealing with climate change. Bruce Ritchie says we have been down that road before — and it did not take us very far. If Crist is elected and does what he says, you can expect a battle with industry groups and their allies in the Legislature.

Florida needs a state constitutional amendment to ban all wagering in Florida, according to Stephen Goldstein. Oddly, raising taxes is considered a cardinal sin, but gambling is supposedly a blessing — especially since the state began pimping it through the Florida Lottery.

Two weeks ago, Context Florida asked why former Gov. Jeb Bush, an advocate for immigrants, remained silent while more than 50,000 unaccompanied child-refugees crossed into the United States. However, Julie Delegal notes that on July 23, in an op-ed in the Washington Post, Bush abandoned that advocacy in favor of right-wing partisan politics.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.