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1US FL: Florida Voters Ok'd Medical Marijuana, But Some City LeadersSun, 28 Oct 2018
Source:Providence Journal, The (RI)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:10/28/2018

Several Florida cities that temporarily banned pot dispensaries now keep them out permanently.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Nearly two years after Florida voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana, some cities' temporary stops to cannabis businesses have turned into outright bans.

Temporary bans in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Margate, Tamarac and Pembroke Pines have become permanent, effectively keeping dispensaries out of certain communities and drawing concerns from medical marijuana's proponents. They join at least seven other South Florida cities with bans.

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2 US FL: Dozens Of Political Candidates Could Lose Bank Accounts OverFri, 21 Sep 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:207 Added:09/21/2018

More than 80 state legislative or statewide campaigns and campaign committees have accepted some $800,000 from the medical marijuana industry during the 2018 election cycle, according to a review of campaign finance records by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

That could mean the closure of accounts and a scramble to find a place to deposit campaign funds. Wells Fargo decided to close the campaign account of Democratic Agriculture Commissioner candidate Nikki Fried after she accepted industry money. She then opened an account with BB&T, which also promptly closed it. She now banks with Florida Community Bank.

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3 US FL: In Sarasota, Panelists Insist Cannabis Can Reduce AddictiveFri, 07 Sep 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:White, Dale Area:Florida Lines:86 Added:09/07/2018

SARASOTA -- Several panelists made their cases in a Thursday forum for why marijuana should no longer be classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug as dangerous as heroin.

The program focused on the Herald-Tribune project "Warriors Rise Up," which found a gaping rift between what many combat veterans want to treat their post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries and what they can legally get.

Rather than a cocktail of painkillers, many veterans prefer the relief they receive from marijuana. Because of marijuana's Schedule 1 designation under federal law, however, the VA has not considered it an option -- even in states that have legalized the drug for medical use.

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4 US FL: Fake Weed Seen As A Public Health DangerTue, 21 Aug 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Stobbe, Mike Area:Florida Lines:55 Added:08/21/2018

A decade after first appearing in the United States, fake weed is seen as a growing health danger.

Some marijuana smokers turned to it because it is relatively cheap and not detected in routine drug testing. Dozens of people in New Haven, Conn., went to the hospital this week after overdosing on a batch of synthetic marijuana.

A look at the issue:

While states have moved to legalize traditional marijuana, fake pot has become a public health threat. Synthetic marijuana is a mind-altering drug made by taking plant material and spraying it with chemicals that can mimic the high from marijuana. It is sold under names like K2, AK47, Spice, Kush, Kronic, and Scooby Snax.

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5 US FL: Marijuana Advocates Promote Education Amidst GrowingSat, 14 Jul 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Santana, Marco Area:Florida Lines:83 Added:07/14/2018

A budding medical marijuana industry has slowly been gaining acceptance in Central Florida as lawmakers consider regulations and the number of approved dispensaries grow.

But as medicinal solutions land most of the support, advocates say it's only a matter of time before full legalization lands on the table.

At the Orlando Marijuana Expo, a workshop and advocacy event Saturday at UCF, attorney Carrie McClain said the piecemeal approach to legalization would not be effective but has helped build some momentum.

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6 US FL: Federal Law? State Law? Which Takes Precedence When You WantMon, 09 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Hamm, Catharine Area:Florida Lines:129 Added:07/11/2018

You can't take it with you. Actually, you can. But it's not a good idea when you're traveling, especially for the risk-averse.

We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved by 57% of California voters in November 2016. Proposition 64, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, allows the recreational use of marijuana in the Golden State; medical marijuana had been legal for about a decade before that.

Legal, it should be noted, in California. Not legal according to federal law, although President Trump has signaled his willingness to support legislation that, according to an L.A. Times article, would "end the federal ban on marijuana."

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7 US FL: Smokable Medical Pot Case Stays On HoldTue, 03 Jul 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:79 Added:07/03/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- Chiding a judge who sided with sick patients and saying plaintiffs likely won't win on the merits of the case, an appellate court on Tuesday refused to allow smokable medical marijuana while a legal fight continues to play out.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal came in a lawsuit initiated by Orlando trial attorney John Morgan and others who maintain that a Florida law barring patients from smoking their treatment runs afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

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8 US FL: Colombian Drug Kingpin Caught In Argentina Gets 31 YearsFri, 22 Jun 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:25 Added:06/26/2018

A convicted Colombian drug cartel leader who went undercover to inform on Mexican kingpin "El Chapo" and other major traffickers has been sentenced to 31 years in prison.

The Miami Herald reports that 48-year-old Henry De Jesus Lopez Londono, who was arrested in Argentina and extradited to Miami in 2016, was sentenced on Monday for drug trafficking conspiracy.

U.S. District Judge Donald Graham previously rejected a plea deal that included 17 years behind bars. Lopez Londono could have received a life sentence.

Officials say Lopez Londono was involved in the smuggling of some 60,000 kilograms of cocaine between 2007 and 2012.

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9US FL: Florida's Newest Governor Candidate On Ganja: Are The KidsThu, 21 Jun 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/26/2018

Jeff Greene, the Palm Beach billionaire who this week joined a crowded slate of Democrats seeking to replace Gov. Rick Scott, shared his thoughts about marijuana with Truth or Dara during a lengthy interview that included some chit-chat about Willie Nelson and air pods.

(Spoiler alert: He's a fan of both the musician and the technology).

On medical marijuana, Greene's got the same take as his competitors, who've all come out in support of allowing patients to smoke their treatment.

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10 US FL: Want A Job Selling Pot Legally? You Could Be In LuckMon, 25 Jun 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Pounds, Marcia Heroux Area:Florida Lines:199 Added:06/25/2018

You could be in luck: Florida's Medical Marijuana Industry Is Beginning To Take Off

Medical marijuana dispensary hiring in Florida is beginning to germinate, as existing operators prepare to open new stores and other companies enter the market.

In South Florida, legal growers operate only a handful of dispensaries. But those dispensaries -- including Knox Medical, Curaleaf and Trulieve -- are laying the groundwork for new locations in the tricounty region and across the state. And California-based MedMen is getting ready to enter the market, which could heat up competition.

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11 US FL: Some Parents Of Epileptic Kids Wary Of Pot-Based MedicationWed, 20 Jun 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Foody, Kathleen Area:Florida Lines:161 Added:06/20/2018

A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether the U.S government will approve the first prescription drug derived from the marijuana plant, but parents who for years have used cannabis to treat severe forms of epilepsy in their children are feeling more cautious than celebratory.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by the end of the month whether to approve GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. It's a purified form of cannabidiol -- a component of cannabis that doesn't get users high -- to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in kids. Both forms of epilepsy are rare.

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12 US FL: Sarasota County Moves To Ban Recreational MarijuanaWed, 30 May 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Rodriguez, Nicole Area:Florida Lines:53 Added:05/30/2018

SARASOTA COUNTY -- The county is moving to ban the cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana if the practice is ever legalized in Florida.

The County Commission last week unanimously voted to authorize its staff to draft an amendment to current county laws to prohibit the growing, processing and sale of recreational marijuana should it ever become legal in the state. Commission Chair Nancy Detert was absent for the vote.

The move comes several weeks after the commission approved the county's first two medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission on April 10 voted to allow Trulieve to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a freestanding building in the Venice Pines Shopping Plaza on Jacaranda Boulevard -- the county's first approved dispensary. A day later, the board approved a request by Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza.

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13 US FL: Judge Weighs Ban On Patients Smoking Medical MarijuanaWed, 16 May 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kam, Dara Area:Florida Lines:111 Added:05/16/2018

Cathy Jordan credits pot with helping her defeat the odds in the battle against Lou Gehrig's disease she's waged for more than 30 years.

And although she can now legally obtain the cannabis treatment she's relied on for decades, Jordan is prohibited from what she and her doctors swear is the best way for her to consume her medicine -- smoking joints.

Jordan is among the plaintiffs challenging a state law that bans smoking pot as a route of administration for the hundreds of thousands of patients who are eligible for medical marijuana treatment in Florida.

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14 US FL: Florida's Young Medical Marijuana Industry Takes OffSat, 28 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Arnold, Kyle Area:Florida Lines:133 Added:04/28/2018

Florida's 16-month-old medical marijuana business is growing fast, as dispensaries and growers rush to establish themselves. It's happening even as court battles over state regulations for the young industry rage on.

Florida's 16-month-old medical marijuana business is growing fast, as dispensaries and growers rush to establish themselves. It's happening even as court battles over state regulations for the young industry rage on.

Rosa Howard spent 30 minutes in line Tuesday at a Trulieve medical marijuana dispensary in Orlando, packed into a waiting room with mothers, babies and seniors as the distinct smell of cannabis hung in the air.

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15 US FL: Medical Marijuana's 'Catch-22': Fed Limits On Research HinderWed, 25 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Taylor, Marisa Area:Florida Lines:251 Added:04/25/2018

By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated.

For four years, her doctor prescribed the 61-year-old a wide range of opioids for her transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.

When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help.

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16 US FL: Politicians May Have Changed Their Tune, But The Public'sThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:82 Added:04/24/2018

Politicians may have changed their tune, but the public's feelings on marijuana seem set in stone - Sun Sentinel

Given that former House Speaker John Boehner is now working for a marijuana investment company and that threats by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to crack down on legal recreational marijuana were nixed by President Donald Trump, we asked readers whether any of them have changed their minds recently on marijuana legalization like some elected officials seem to have.

And the answer is no. No, you have not.

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17 US FL: Oped: Doobie-Ous choice: Americans Ignore Marijuana-ImpairedThu, 19 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Gordon, Robert Area:Florida Lines:102 Added:04/24/2018

Marijuana beer is the latest trend in South Florida's brewing industry, but the cannabis terpenes oil used in the brews needs to be tested and approved. Breweries in the area are planning to host 420-themed parties.

Marijuana beer is the latest trend in South Florida's brewing industry, but the cannabis terpenes oil used in the brews needs to be tested and approved. Breweries in the area are planning to host 420-themed parties.

Glorifying marijuana use is now a staple across pop culture, music and Hollywood, where getting high is celebrated with nary a mention of the public safety risks involved. But if you smoke, vape, or enjoy edibles and get behind the wheel of a car while impaired, not only are you breaking the law, you are putting your life and the lives of others on the road in great danger.

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18 US FL: More Than 100,000 Sign Up To Get Medical Marijuana In FloridaMon, 23 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:42 Added:04/23/2018

Florida's medical-marijuana patient database has hit the 100,000 mark, according to a weekly update issued by the state Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

As of Friday, 100,576 Florida patients had registered with the office, an increase of more than 2,500 in the past week.

Only 75,208 of the registered patients have been issued ID cards allowing them to purchase the marijuana treatment, and nearly 3,000 more applications for the cards are being processed.

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19US FL: Editorial: Redner's Court Win On Medical Marijuana SendsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state regulations, Tampa's Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung cancer. But it's a victory for medical marijuana patients and their advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.

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20 US FL: Have You Changed Your Mind On Marijuana Like These PoliticiansTue, 17 Apr 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:74 Added:04/18/2018

It didn't get much notice because it happened the same day Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced his retirement, but former House Speaker John Boehner has announced that he's joining the board of Acreage Holdings, an investment company concentrating on the marijuana industry. In doing so, he added that his own position on legal marijuana had changed as public opinion had come around on the subject.

And Boehner is far from the only previously anti-pot politician to turn into an advocate.

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21 US FL: Judge Says Florida Man Can Grow His Own Medical MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:28 Added:04/16/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- A Florida circuit court judge has ruled that a Tampa man has the right to grow his own medical marijuana.

Leon County Judge Karen Gievers said on Wednesday that Joseph Redner is entitled under state law to grow and use marijuana for juicing. The 77-year old Redner is in remission for lung cancer and is one of more than 95,000 state residents who is registered as a medical marijuana patient.

The ruling applies only to Redner but could open the door for others who have said the state should allow whole-plant use.

The state's Department of Health immediately filed an appeal after the ruling. Gievers also said in her ruling that the state continues to be non-compliant in the implementation of Amendment 2. The amendment, which passed in 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Florida.

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22US FL: Judge: Joe Redner Can Legally Grow His Own MarijuanaWed, 11 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/16/2018

Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers has ruled that Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner has the right to grow his own marijuana.

The ruling, released Wednesday morning, applies only to Redner, 77.

The Florida Department of Health had said Floridians are barred under state rules from growing cannabis for their personal use, including those who are legally registered as medical marijuana patients.

But Redner and other critics across the state say the health department continues to create barriers for more than 95,000 registered patients in Florida that could benefit from marijuana. Redner is a stage 4 lung cancer survivor and a registered medical marijuana patient.

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23US FL: Are Medical Marijuana, Acupuncture Alternatives To Opioids?Mon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years, Bridgitte Pascale tried "almost everything" to alleviate her pain without relying on opioids.

Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the "only things that help" with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.

Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn't cover them.

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24 US FL: Company Files Lawsuit Challenging Orlando's Medical MarijuanaMon, 26 Mar 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Gillespie, Ryan Area:Florida Lines:78 Added:03/31/2018

A company that planned to open a medical marijuana dispensary south of downtown Orlando is challenging the city's ordinance regulating such businesses, alleging it violates state law.

Surterra Florida, which operates five dispensaries statewide, filed the suit in Orange County Circuit Court last week and is asking a judge to rule Orlando's law is "invalid and unenforceable." Tallahassee Attorney William Hall, who filed the suit, is also seeking a temporary injunction to keep the city from enforcing the law while the court rules.

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25 US FL: Rope, Not Dope: UF To Tackle Hemp ResearchTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Strange, Deborah Area:Florida Lines:82 Added:03/31/2018

GAINESVILLE -- The University of Florida could start growing industrial hemp as soon as the fall.

But the project still has to pass some hurdles before planting begins, said Rob Gilbert, chairman of the UF/IFAS agronomy department.

The university's board of trustees approved the project Friday, and now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration must approve importing industrial hemp seeds. Then the project needs to secure the $1.3 million it needs and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services must approve a planting permit.

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26 US FL: Oped: Clear The Air About Making Medical Marijuana AccessibleWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kalsi, Kamal Area:Florida Lines:120 Added:03/28/2018

Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.

In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to AIDS.

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27US FL: Editorial: Fighting Meth's Killer ComebackFri, 23 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/23/2018

While opioids hold center stage in the nation's drug war, methamphetamine is making a destructive comeback. Though meth has largely fallen off the public's radar, seizures and arrests are up, and more people are dying from the drug. Its evolution is a reminder of the durability of the illegal drug supply, the impermanence of any single enforcement tactic and the need for a comprehensive approach to fighting and treating addiction.

Potent, addictive and deadly, meth bears many of the pernicious traits of opioids. It became popular in the early 2000s, easily produced in small batches using the decongestant in over-the-counter cold medicine. In rural parts of Tampa Bay, especially eastern Hillsborough and Pasco counties and throughout Polk County, exploding "meth labs" routinely drew law enforcement's attention. Congress responded in 2005 with a law putting pseudoephedrine behind the counter, limiting the amount individuals could purchase and creating a tracking system pharmacies were required to use. Meth became much harder to make and faded from notice, overtaken by a new drug of choice: opioids.

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28US FL: Joe Redner Hopes To Be Allowed To Grow His Own Cannabis AsWed, 21 Mar 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/21/2018

Joe Redner, Tampa's outspoken strip club owner and lung cancer patient, is confident he'll be able to legally grow his own marijuana plants soon, after stating his case in trial before a state circuit court judge on Wednesday.

Redner, 77, made his case against the Florida Department of Health in a Tallahassee courtroom Wednesday on why he has a constitutional right to grow his own marijuana plants. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers is expected to rule on the case next week.

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29 US FL: Ex-DEA Chief Blasts White-Collar PushersThu, 01 Mar 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Cox, Billy Area:Florida Lines:55 Added:03/05/2018

SARASOTA - When the Drug Enforcement Administration was formed in 1973, roughly 2,000 Americans were dying from overdoses each week, largely from heroin injections. In 2016 alone, thanks to a deregulated pharmaceutical industry, fatal overdoses -- 80 percent opioid related - -- claimed 63,000 lives.

Or, as Peter Bensinger pointed out Thursday morning, opium-derived drugs have exacted a higher death toll in a single year than nearly two decades of fighting in the Vietnam War.

Appointed by President Ford in 1976 to become the nation's second DEA director, Bensinger detailed the history of America's relationship with the poppy to a Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning crowd gathered at First United Methodist Church. As the leading cause of death for U.S. residents under 50, the toll from opioids and its synthetic counterparts today would've been unimaginable to Bensinger when he was the nation's top drug cop.

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30US FL: Medical Marijuana May Be Legal, But Patients Still Go WithoutSat, 10 Feb 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Koh, Elizabeth Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:02/15/2018

Seth and Danielle Hyman with their daughter Rebecca 8, of Weston, are seeking to have a strain of marijuana legalized to help prevent seizures in their daughter, Rebecca, in 2014. Despite the legalization of medical marijuana, Seth Hyman said the drug is still difficult to get for is daughter. [Miami Herald]

When Seth Hyman first began to buy medical marijuana in Florida for his 12-year-old daughter last year, he hoped it would be the answer to fixing her life-threatening seizures.

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31 US FL: Medical Marijuana Is Legal. But How Should Schools Handle It?Tue, 13 Feb 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Travis, Scott Area:Florida Lines:43 Added:02/13/2018

Broward County Schools are hashing out plans for dealing with medical marijuana on campus.

Under a proposed policy, students wouldn't be allowed to carry pot and it could not be stored on campus. But a student's parent or caregiver could bring it to school and administer it if the child has the proper medical approval.

School staff would be not be allowed to handle it.

Pot use has long been banned on school campuses, but Florida voters legalized it for medical purposes in 2016. The state Legislature last year required schools to come up with a policy on dealing with it.

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32 US FL: Sarasota OKs Marijuana Dispensaries Within City LimitsWed, 07 Feb 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:Anderson, Chris Area:Florida Lines:67 Added:02/09/2018

After a unanimous vote of support by the Sarasota City Commission, medical marijuana dispensaries will now be operational in the city and those with prescriptions will be able to utilize them immediately.

State legislation had preempted the city's ability to regulate the dispensaries, which led to commissioners placing a temporary ban on them until a solution could be found.

That solution happened last month when commissioners approved a plan to change zoning codes, paving the way for those prescribed the drug for various medical ailments to obtain it locally.

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33US FL: Editorial: Treatment, Not Prison, Needed To Fight OpioidTue, 06 Feb 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:02/07/2018

Florida needs to take advantage of every opportunity to bring awareness and resources to the deadly opioid epidemic that is ravaging communities across the state. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes to Tampa today to discuss federal efforts to combat the crisis, but if he sticks to his script of late he will focus on enforcement and punishment instead of where the attention really needs to be: rehabilitation. Without a meaningful commitment at all levels of government to treating addiction, this crisis will continue claiming lives.

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34 US FL: Florida Judge Dismisses Part Of Medical Marijuana LawsuitFri, 26 Jan 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)          Area:Florida Lines:28 Added:01/26/2018

A Florida judge has ruled that a lawsuit against the state's decision to ban smokable forms of medical marijuana can proceed but without one of the key parties.

Leon County Judge Karen Gievers ruled on Friday that three patients suing the state can proceed because their claims that the ban impacts them are sufficient. Gievers dismissed the motion by People United for Medical Marijuana, which is the committee formed by Orlando attorney John Morgan, because it lacks sufficient grounds. The organization has 10 days to file an amended lawsuit.

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35 US FL: In Florida, A 2016 Spike In Babies Born To Opioid-AddictedThu, 25 Jan 2018
Source:Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) Author:White, Dale Area:Florida Lines:68 Added:01/25/2018

Health advocates are hopeful the 2017 numbers will show a decline.

Across Florida the number of babies born to opioid-addicted mothers spiked in 2016.

According to the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, 1,903 infants at Florida hospitals suffered from neonatal abstinence syndrome in 2014. That number climbed to 2,487 in 2015 and to 4,215 in 2016.

At Sarasota Memorial Hospital, babies suffering from opioid addiction withdrawal numbered 67 in 2014, jumped to 110 in 2015 and peaked at 114 in 2016.

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36 US FL: Legislature May Expand Miami Needle ExchangeWed, 24 Jan 2018
Source:Orlando Sentinel (FL) Author:Sexton, Christine Area:Florida Lines:56 Added:01/24/2018

TALLAHASSEE -- Two years after lawmakers approved a needle-and-syringe exchange program in Miami-Dade County, the House and Senate are considering taking it statewide and expanding the types of providers who can offer the services.

House and Senate health care-panels on Wednesday approved bills that would allow hospitals, clinics, medical schools and substance-abuse treatment programs to begin offering needle-and-syringe exchange programs to try to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated cost nearly $380,000 to treat over a lifetime.

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37 US FL: Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban Challenged In CourtTue, 23 Jan 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Sweeney, Dan Area:Florida Lines:86 Added:01/23/2018

A judge is deciding whether Floridians should be allowed to consume medical marijuana by smoking it.

Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers heard arguments Thursday on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on smoking.

The medical marijuana constitutional amendment voters approved in 2016 allowed the Legislature to prohibit smoking in public areas. But the law passed in 2017 to implement the amendment banned smoking entirely.

Medical marijuana patients must vape the product, or else use patches, oils, edibles -- any other means but the most traditional way of using the drug.

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