Pubdate: Thu, 06 Jul 2017
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2017 The Tribune Co.
Author: Philip Morgan



TEMPLE TERRACE -- Dropping a giant joint in favor of the "USS
Maryjane" seemed to smooth the waters for a pro-marijuana entry in
this year's Temple Terrace Fourth of July Parade.

The new float designed by the National Organization for the Reform of
Marijuana Laws featured the flag-festooned ship crewed by some
military veterans and painted with the slogan, "Hemp for Victory."

The theme plays off a World War II film from the Department of
Agriculture that praised the nation's hemp farmers for their work in
creating strong ropes from the stalks of marijuana plants for the
armed forces.

"Apparently, they were so normal that people didn't know who they
were,'' said City Council member Cheri Donohue, who said she received
no angry e-mails this year.

That's a far cry from last year's NORML entry, which raised residents'
ire with a mock-up of a giant marijuana cigarette billowing smoke.

"It was a great day, a great float,'' said Christopher Cano, executive
director of NORML's Central Florida chapter.

Cano said he saw a number of people at the parade Tuesday showing
their support and counted only three negative reactions, including one
woman who turned her thumbs down.

Another change from last year: Florida lawmakers acted during their
spring session to implement a constitutional amendment legalizing
medical use of marijuana, which was supported by 71 percent of voters.
Patients with conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and
epilepsy can buy and use medical marijuana.

Cano said city staff members reviewed the plans for the new float and
approved it, with one telling him, "As long as there is no giant
marijuana cigarette, you should be okay.''

Also aboard the float were several members of Weed for Warriors --
veterans who promote medical marijuana to treat disabilities. The
ship, named the USS Maryjane, was adorned with American flags and
"Don't Tread On Weed," a variation of the Revolutionary War slogan.
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