Today on Context Florida: Florida shell game, medical marijuana, Common Core and the land of opportunity

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Today on Context Florida: Daniel Tilson examines the “shell game” of the State Legislature’s Work Plan Florida 2014, a cleverly worded effort by Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford that prioritizes special interests over those of working and retired Floridians.

Florida is not usually seen as an early adopter, but Gary Stein notes that there is one issue where key legislators are working to stay in the forefront — medical marijuana.

Is anyone in Tallahassee smarter than a fifth grader, Shannon Nickinson asks. It doesn’t seem so after Rick Scott put the brakes on the adaptation of Common Core educational standards.

America has somewhat lost its status as a “land of opportunity,” says Erin O’Flaherty, where discrimination is widespread — by nationality, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, political views and social status. Diversity is not fully accepted in society, as it should be.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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.