Tampa Tribune _FL_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2017
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41 US FL: PUB LTE: No Help For The PainMon, 14 Jul 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Beatty, Robert B. Area:Florida Lines:79 Added:07/15/2014

Regarding "Follow Florida's painkiller example" (Washington Post, Other Views, July 8):

The Post's one-sided, one-dimensional exalting over the state of Florida's shutdown of so-called "pill mills" and doctors accused of over-prescribing painkillers overlooks another side of the issue that it and anti-drug crusaders are either ignorant of or choose to ignore. My wife suffers from severe and chronic pain caused by degenerative arthritis of her hips. Hip replacement surgery will hopefully alleviate the pain. In the meantime, she's in constant, unremitting pain from the damage to her hips. High concentration doses of Vicodin or similar pain-control medication used to be able to control her pain.

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42US FL: Medical Pot Group Stays Above FrayThu, 10 Jul 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Dixon, Matt Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/12/2014

Florida for Care Hopes to Write Guidelines

TALLAHASSEE - Florida for Care, a group casting itself as above the politics of pot, will begin work this summer crafting a set of policy recommendations that lawmakers could put in place if voters approve a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

The group is applying with the IRS for a specific type of nonprofit status that, if approved, would allow Florida for Care to avoid disclosing the donors fueling those policy discussions or future lobbying efforts.

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43US FL: Document Outlines Protocol For Medical MarijuanaFri, 04 Jul 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/07/2014

There Would Be 5 Dispensaries Across State

TALLAHASSEE - Winners of Florida's five, highly sought-after medical marijuana licenses could be selected through lotteries, according to a draft rule released late Wednesday by the Department of Health.

The 16-page document comes in advance of an agency workshop Monday in Tallahassee that is drawing heavy attention.

The draft rule, generally considered a starting point, outlines how the state intends to implement a new law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott, that made Florida one of nearly two dozen states that permit some sort of marijuana. Florida's law restricts legal marijuana to strains that are low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD. The low-THC, high-CBD strain is purported to eliminate or dramatically reduce life-threatening seizures in children with severe epilepsy. The law also allows patients who suffer from severe muscle spasms or cancer to be put on a "compassionate use registry" for the low-THC product as long as their doctors approve.

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44 US FL: PUB LTE: Out Of TouchSun, 22 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:ArmentanO, Paul Area:Florida Lines:49 Added:06/26/2014

Regarding "=C2=80=C2=9CNot your father'=C2=80=C2=99s marijuana"=C2=80=C2=9D (Our Views, June 10): Those opposed to the therapeutic use of marijuana are out of touch with both scientific and public opinion. Over 20 states and the District of Columbia allow for the physician-recommended use of the plant. This year lawmakers in Maryland and Minnesota enacted new laws specific to cannabis therapy. New York legislators are anticipated to approve a similar measure in the coming weeks. Additionally, in recent months lawmakers in Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and Vermont enacted legislation expanding their existing medical marijuana programs.

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45 US FL: PUB LTE: Trusting Gupta And The People's TestimonyTue, 24 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Chase, John G. Area:Florida Lines:38 Added:06/25/2014

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a reliable reporter. Last August, his CNN "Weed 1" documentary showed us the heart-rending videos of Charlotte Figi, who was initially having seizures, then was virtually healed by high-CBD cannabis.

Gupta followed up with "Weed 2" in March and spoke in favor of the "entourage effects" - the "synergy" discovered by Israeli researchers in the whole plant.

Amendment 2 would legalize the whole plant as medicine. But the Tribune recommends a "no" vote because some people might want the whole plant only to treat back pain or relieve stress or even, God forbid, to smoke and "get high." A few people will, but what about the vast majority - the patients who now must break the law to get relief they can't get from pills?

I trust their testimony long before I trust the tests funded by Big Pharma and spoon-fed to the FDA for their approval.

John G. Chase

Palm Harbor

[end]

46 US FL: PUB LTE: Stop Lying About CannabisSun, 22 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Roberts, Chaz Area:Florida Lines:45 Added:06/23/2014

Amendment 2, which is up for vote in Florida in November, is not about the outright legalization of cannabis in a recreational form. It's not about the decriminalization of the growth, cultivation, harvesting, possession, distribution, sale of or consumption of cannabis outside of legal medical purposes. It's about giving real patients, who truly would benefit from the medicinal effects from the cannabis plant, safe access to medicinal cannabis - without the fear of getting thrown into the hoosegow for trying to stop their tonic-clonic (formerly known as grand mal) epileptic seizures and the debilitating side effects from the pharmaceuticals being pumped into their bodies to fight atrocious battles with deadly diseases such as cancer and AIDS.

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47US FL: Editorial: Charlotte's Web A Different Approach FromThu, 19 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/20/2014

Florida's conservative lawmakers put aside the instinct to be against any form or marijuana legalization this past legislative session and passed a bill that legalizes a low-potency marijuana strain known as Charlotte's Web.

It represented a turnaround for the Republican-controlled Legislature, and this week Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law.

It's a humane decision that will provide some relief to children and others suffering from epilepsy, cancer and debilitating conditions that cause severe muscle spasms. But support for the law should not be confused with the staunch opposition by the governor and other conservatives to Amendment 2 on the November ballot, which would make medical marijuana legal on a much greater scale.

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48 US FL: PUB LTE: Health ConsciousMon, 16 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Florida Lines:46 Added:06/17/2014

Regarding the June 10 editorial ("=C2=9CNot your parents=C3=A2=C2=80=C2=99 marijuana,"=C2=80=C2=9D Our Views), the National Institute on Drug Abuse is not a credible authority on marijuana. Director Nora Volkow would have us believe that stronger marijuana is reason to continue criminalizing citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis.

Assuming our federal government is genuinely concerned about the health of those citizens they want arrested, they should know that health-conscious marijuana consumers deliberately seek out the strongest strains of marijuana available. Potent pot means less smoke inhalation. One or two small puffs will yield the desired result.

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49 US FL: LTE: Pure Intentions?Sun, 15 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Wynne, Joseph Area:Florida Lines:25 Added:06/15/2014

I applaud your position on the marijuana amendment on the November ballot in Florida ("Not your parents' marijuana," Our Views, June 10). What caught my eye, though, is the fact that lawyer John Morgan is an ardent backer (as in money) of the amendment. If his intentions are pure, he should pledge that if the amendment passes his firm would not involve itself in any case involving marijuana use.

Joseph Wynne

New Port Richey

[end]

50 US FL: PUB LTE: Legal, Safe, RegulatedFri, 13 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:37 Added:06/15/2014

Nora Volkow's warnings in the New England Journal of Medicine of the long- and short-term dangers of marijuana are lost on me, as long as we continue to use drugs that are equally dangerous in our lives every day. Consider a drug that leads to addiction, heart irregularities, impaired judgment, liver disease, depression and fetal damage a=C2=80" al cohol.

Consider a drug that leads to addiction, nervousness, both hyper- and hypoglycemia, and sleep disorders a=C2=80" caffeine.

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51US FL: Editorial: Not Your Parents' MarijuanaTue, 10 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/11/2014

It was easy to dismiss marijuana use in the closing decades of the last century as a harmless pastime that, while illegal, was less destructive than alcohol and not as addictive as cocaine or other harder drugs.

But medical studies now getting attention in advance of the November referendum on medical marijuana in Florida are painting a far different picture of the effects of marijuana on brain development and its potential addictiveness.

Though the amendment on the November ballot would limit the legalization to medical uses, voters should still consider the studies when deciding whether to support the measure. In the two states where marijuana is now legal for recreational use - Colorado and Washington - voters had approved medical marijuana years earlier.

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52US FL: Lines Growing At Drug ClinicSun, 08 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Girona, Jose Patino Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/09/2014

Pain Pill Epidemic Doubled Number of Tampa Bay Patients on Methadone in Just 4 Years

TAMPA - The lobby starts filling up before dawn in the nondescript office building on Columbus Drive.

Young adults, middle-aged, men, women, some poor, some not, some employed, some not, they wait patiently in the dark and as the sun breaks over the horizon and the June day heats up.

Amidst their varying demographics, they share a few notable characteristics. They're addicts. They want to break the habit.

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53US FL: Top Democrat Blasted For Opposing Pot AmendmentSat, 07 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:March, William Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/07/2014

John Morgan Has Choice Words for Wasserman Schultz

TAMPA --- Top Florida Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced she opposes the proposed medical marijuana constitutional amendment, drawing an angry response Friday from another of the party's most important state figures - Orlando lawyer John Morgan.

Morgan has bankrolled the amendment campaign and is a chief supporter of Charlie Crist in his bid for governor.

The state Republican Party seized on the rift, accusing Morgan - and by association, Crist - of sexism for criticizing Wasserman Schultz. Wasserman Schultz is head of the Democratic National Committee and has represented the Miami area's 23rd Congressional district since 2005.

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54US FL: Drug Czar's Paper Warns of Pot's RisksSat, 07 Jun 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Stockfisch, Jerome R. Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:06/07/2014

Medical Marijuana Backers Dismiss Findings As Old News

TAMPA - The nation's top drug official has weighed in on the marijuana debate, publishing a paper in a prestigious medical journal this week arguing that the substance has been associated with substantial adverse effects.

The paper in the New England Journal of Medicine by Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, focuses on existing research and breaks no new ground. But the document is sure to influence the debate over Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment on this fall's statewide ballot that would allow the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions in Florida.

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55 US FL: LTE: Poll Results QuestionedThu, 22 May 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Green, Darryl Area:Florida Lines:33 Added:05/23/2014

In response to 'Highly uncertain times' (Views, May 18), I wish people would put out all of the information about these polls instead of just what they want to use.

This is the whole poll about the medical marijuana amendment: Quinnipiac surveyed 1,413 registered voters, and the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent. This is the population for Florida last year: 19,552,860. I would like to know how they figure the poll results comprise 88 percent of the population. I also would like to know the demographics they used, because you can get a poll to state anything you want just by controlling where you poll. Personally, I think they are lying to promote legalized marijuana. They probably figure nobody would check their figures, so they could get away with lying to the people of Florida.

Darryl Green,

Spring Hill

[end]

56US FL: OPED: Highly Uncertain TimesSun, 18 May 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Reiner, Sarah P. L. Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:05/18/2014

If Florida Voters OK Medical Pot, Businesses Will Face Complex Legal Issues

This fall, Florida voters will have the ability to legalize medical marijuana. The legal impact on employers will be significant.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll, released May 5, found 88 percent of Florida voters support allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. In light of that strong support, the proposed amendment to Florida's Constitution seems certain to succeed. If it does, employers may find themselves questioning how best to deal with issues and questions related to employee use of medical marijuana.

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57 US FL: PUB LTE: Sheriffs Need To Reconsider Pot StanceFri, 09 May 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Chase, John G. Area:Florida Lines:39 Added:05/11/2014

Florida sheriffs speak out against medical marijuana because they deal every day with violent crime involving individuals who often abuse alcohol or other drugs. They rarely encounter an individual like the one who was the subject of the May 4 Letter of the Day, "Let her have a shot at a semi-normal life."

They - all of us - should look outside our own experience. When Florida votes for Amendment 2 in November, we will not be the guinea pig; over one third of our 50 states already have had medical marijuana laws in effect long enough to draw conclusions. In those states, public safety actually has improved. This is documented by six research papers, either peer-reviewed or in the process. They are all good-faith attempts at apples-to-apples comparisons. Taken as a group, these states have seen reductions in property crime and violent crime, in traffic fatalities and in suicides. Equally important, there has been no increase in marijuana use by adolescents.

In light of this recent data, Florida sheriffs should reconsider their opposition to Amendment 2.

John G. Chase

Palm Harbor

[end]

58US FL: Probe Into Use Of Pot Oil To Help Boy EndsTue, 06 May 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:March, William Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:05/09/2014

BRANDON --- A child abuse investigation has been closed with a finding of innocence in the case of Renee Petro, a Fishhawk mother who's seeking to use a medical marijuana derivative to help her brain-damaged, epilepsy-stricken child.

Pleased at the outcome, Petro went to see Gov. Rick Scott as he made an appearance in Brandon on Tuesday as part of a statewide re-election campaign kickoff tour.

In a brief conversation with Scott after his speech, Petro thanked him for promising to sign a bill just passed by the state Legislature that would legalize the derivative and urged him to learn more about medical uses of marijuana.

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59 US FL: PUB LTE: 'Let Her Have A Shot At A Semi-Normal Life'Mon, 05 May 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Gerber, Ralph Area:Florida Lines:73 Added:05/05/2014

I am the husband of a woman who has fought against severe fibromyalgia, scoliosis, sciatic nerve pain, degenerative arthritis, diabetes and episodes of congestive heart failure (CHF) for many years. Although she has been able to control her diabetes and CHF, the debilitating pain of her fibro, scoliosis and sciatica makes her life a fight against the odds each day. She can't stand for more than a few minutes at a time, even with her walker. She can't sit in one position for more than a few minutes, despite the comfort of a recliner. Many times I have seen her rocking back and forth, crying uncontrollably with the pain.

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60US FL: Sheriffs Fight Against Legalized PotSun, 27 Apr 2014
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Morelli, Keith Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/30/2014

Campaign Cites Increase in Crime, Traffic Accidents

TAMPA - Florida law enforcement authorities are set to begin a public awareness campaign to fight the effort to legalize medicinal marijuana, a question that will be put to voters in November.

This winter, the Florida Sheriff's Association sent sheriffs across the state an email asking for their support of a resolution opposing the legalization of marijuana. A vast majority of the 67 sheriffs was in favor of fighting against any effort to legalize pot.

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