Tampa Tribune _FL_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2017
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1US FL: One Florida Bank Is Willing To Risk It All On Cannabis WhenThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

Opening a medical marijuana dispensary in Florida naturally comes with a lot of red tape.

Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance at the federal level, despite the 29 states that have legalized it for recreational or medicinal use in recent years. That makes it nearly impossible for banks to fund marijuana distributing companies, which in turn makes it hard for those companies to sign a lease for a store or warehouse or even get insurance.

But one Orlando area community bank is willing to take on the risk.

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2US FL: Column: Romano: The 'Morally Irresponsible'' Strategy To FightSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Romano, John Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/12/2017

The girls knew the rules, and especially the consequences. Their father would never raise a hand to them, but he was an aficionado of understated punishments.

Grab a pen and paper, he would tell his two daughters, and come sit at the kitchen table. Write down what you did wrong, and how you plan on correcting it. Sign it, date it and make sure you spelled everything correctly.

Frank Vazquez fretted enough about Cylea and Leliana that he wouldn't let them spend the night with friends because of all of the things that might go on in other homes. And he was like a doorman at a fancy high-rise when it came to who got past the threshold to visit his girls.

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3US ME: Marijuana Business Offers Weed For Weeds On Cleanup DayMon, 24 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:07/24/2017

GARDINER, Maine (AP) -- A medical marijuana businessman in Maine is offering weed for weeds in a program to encourage Gardiner residents to clean up their city.

WCSH-TV reports (http://on.wcsh6.com/2eEAtNL ) that Dennis Meehan, owner of Summit Medical Marijuana, offered residents who collected trash Saturday free marijuana. The businessman says anyone who was over 21 was offered free marijuana if they presented a bag of trash that was collected in town.

Meehan's company advertised the cleanup effort on Facebook, and he says he hopes to expand what he calls "the day of service" program to the entire state. Mehan says the program is about bringing awareness to the "life-changing" nature of cannabis as well.

Gifting marijuana is legal in Maine.

Meehan says he got the idea for the swap from a Colorado town's similar program.


4US FL: John Morgan Sues State For Blocking The Smoking Of MedicalThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Klas, Mary Ellen Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/07/2017

TALLAHASSEE -- Arguing that Florida legislators violated voters' intent when they prohibited smoking for the medical use of marijuana, the author of the state's medical marijuana amendment sued the state on Thursday to throw out the implementing law.

John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who spearheaded and financed the successful campaign to make medical access to cannabis a constitutional right, filed the lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court Thursday morning, asking the court to declare the law implementing the 2016 constitutional amendment unenforceable.

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5US FL: Pro-Pot Forces Calm Waters As Uss Maryjane Sails ThroughThu, 06 Jul 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Morgan, Philip Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:07/06/2017

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.

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6US FL: Trulieve Opens Medical Marijuana Dispensary In TampaThu, 26 Jan 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Marrero, Tony Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:01/28/2017

TAMPA -- Four years ago, Bree Morris faced a choice between pain relief and being close to family.

Permanently disabled from a car crash that injured her back, Morris, 53, moved from Florida to Colorado after voters here rejected a medical marijuana referendum in 2012. She left her children and grandchildren with a hunch that access to medical cannabis in Colorado would work better than the opiates that had turned her into a "zombie."

"From that day on, my quality of life changed," she said. "I started doing walks around the park. I started feeling better about life. I'm able to talk and be alert and do things and even go back to school to earn my bachelor's."

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7US FL: What To Know As Amendment 2 Goes Into Effect On TuesdaySun, 01 Jan 2017
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:01/05/2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Dr. Joseph Dorn has had a unique vantage point when it comes to the burgeoning medical marijuana industry in Florida.

Dorn was the medical director of Surterra Therapeutics, which is one of the six dispensing organizations licensed to grow and distribute medical cannabis in the state. He resigned from that position two months ago and has opened a medical marijuana treatment center as Amendment 2 takes effect on Tuesday.

The constitutional amendment, which was approved by 71 percent of Florida voters, allows higher-strength marijuana to be used for a wider list of medical ailments. However, the true measure of what the amendment means won't be immediately seen until a new set of rules are adopted and implemented by the Florida Legislature and the Department of Health.

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8US FL: New Pot Rule Yields 81 CitationsTue, 03 May 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Fox, Geoff Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:05/04/2016

First Violator Cited Less Than An Hour After Ordinance Took Effect

TAMPA - A stripper, a college student and a lawn maintenance worker were among the first people issued civil citations for possessing small amounts of marijuana since April 1, police records show.

Tampa City Council members on March 17 voted 5-1 to adopt the ordinance, intended to prevent offenders from having the lifelong stigma of a criminal record that can hinder job, scholarship and housing opportunities.

Council members said it will also free up police and the courts. Nearly 1,900 arrests made by Tampa police last year included charges of possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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9US FL: Tampa's New Pot Law Has Schools Revisiting Rules forSun, 01 May 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Dawson, Anastasia Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:05/01/2016

It's Relevant to Student Discipline, Employment Policy

TAMPA - City officials toiled over the details for months before adopting a law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

It's been a month since the regulation took effect, but one segment of the community is still wrestling with its reaction to changes that make possession no more serious than a traffic ticket in the eyes of the law: Hillsborough County schools.

Students likely still will be punished for possession - Hillsborough County schools are drugfree for all students and employees - but decriminalization could change the way teachers and other employees are hired, school officials say. At least in Tampa. "The world is changing around us," school board Chairwoman April Griffin said. "We need to have a conversation about what it means if you've received a citation as opposed to being arrested."

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10 US FL: PUB LTE: Legalize And Tax PotFri, 01 Apr 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Zucker, Larry Area:Florida Lines:30 Added:04/02/2016

I believe I might have a solution to wrong-way drivers. Legalize marijuana and use the taxes from it to install devices that would prevent wrong-way drivers from entering onto exit ramps. It's a pretty simple solution. I do not indulge in the smoking of marijuana. But I truly believe that legalizing it won't make people who don't use it run to get it.

The people who use it will do so whether it's legal or not, so let the rest of us benefit from it by taxing it.

I'm sure we could find other uses for the tax dollars also.

I'm looking forward to all the replies to this.

Larry Zucker



11US FL: Small Amount Of Pot Can Still Lead To ArrestFri, 01 Apr 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Fox, Geoff Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/01/2016

4 Criteria Must Be Met to Receive Only a Citation

TAMPA - A new law allowing Tampa police the option of issuing civil citations for those possessing small amounts of marijuana takes effect today. But don't be fooled. The new ordinance does not mean that everyone found with up to 20 grams of weed - about three-quarters of an ounce - will automatically avoid arrest.

For instance, if you get pulled over while driving and smoking marijuana, your vehicle will still likely get searched - thanks to the lingering smell, also known as probable cause - while you sit, handcuffed, in the back of a patrol car.

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12 US FL: LTE: Smoke And MirrorsSun, 27 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Webb, Robert Area:Florida Lines:22 Added:03/27/2016

Be careful, Tampa! As the city loosens the consequences of pot, officials need to think through the long-term results. Don't lose our city to the pot enthusiast. Yes, Colorado now reaps millions in new tax dollars, but at what cost? The destruction of what was once a beautiful place to live? Just be careful.

Robert Webb



13 US FL: LTE: Next Time, Do The Proper Research On PotSun, 27 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Winterstein, Thomas Area:Florida Lines:66 Added:03/27/2016

I read the editorial in The Tampa Tribune on Feb. 20 concerning "Sanctioning drug use in Tampa" and was pleased to see that you are skeptical about the ordinance, which Mayor Bob Buckhorn signed into law last week. You have every reason to be skeptical. You should be more than skeptical.

Those people who want to legalize marijuana are not informed of the harm caused to individuals from its use, especially to the brains of young people. I also believe that people are not aware of the difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

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14US FL: Scott Signs Bill Allowing Pot For Terminally IllSat, 26 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/26/2016

He Didn't Comment on Hb 307, Which Expands Existing Law

TALLAHASSEE - With Floridians poised to vote this fall on broad legalization of medical marijuana, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill that will allow terminally ill patients to have access to marijuana to ease suffering.

The bill, which lawmakers approved this month, was one of 68 measures that Scott signed into law Friday. He also vetoed one bill dealing with a utility in Alachua County.

Scott did not issue a comment on the medical-marijuana bill (HB 307), but House sponsor Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, went on Twitter to say the governor showed "heart & compassion" by signing the measure.

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15US FL: Column: Taking Another Crack at Medical Marijuana inFri, 25 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Dockery, Paula Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2016

Two years ago, the medical marijuana constitutional amendment was on the ballot in Florida. Even though a majority of voters supported it - - 58 percent - it failed to meet the 60 percent threshold needed for passage.

There was a strong and well-financed opposition that relied on doomsday scenarios and scare tactics. Others who opposed the measure did so by saying the change should be done by the Legislature in statute, not by citizens in the Florida Constitution.

During that time the Legislature - opposed to full-fledged decriminalization of marijuana for medical purposes - passed a very limited form of non-euphoric marijuana for children with epilepsy or chronic seizures.

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16US: More Veterans Using Pot To Ease PTSDFri, 25 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Finley, Ben Area:United States Lines:Excerpt Added:03/25/2016

Experts Say It Helps but Can Become Addictive

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A growing number of states are weighing whether to legalize marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. But for many veterans, the debate is already over.

They're increasingly using cannabis even though it remains illegal in most states and is unapproved by the Department of Veterans Affairs because major studies have yet to show it is effective for PTSD.

Although the research has been contradictory and limited, some former members of the military say pot helps them manage their anxiety, insomnia and nightmares. Prescription drugs such as Klonopin and Zoloft weren't effective or left them feeling like zombies, some say.

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17US FL: Tampa OKs Reduced Pot PenaltyFri, 18 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:O'Donnell, Christopher Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/18/2016

Civil Citation Would Be Option for People With 20 Grams or Less

Fines, rather than arrests, now will be the approach for people found in possession of small amounts of marijuana after the Tampa City Council on Thursday gave final approval to a new law that downgrades the offense to a civil citation.

Council members voted 5-1 to adopt the ordinance, which gives police the option to issue a fine for adults found with up to 20 grams, roughly three-quarters of an ounce, of marijuana. The new law is expected to go into effect in a few days, once signed by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who supports the measure.

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18 US FL: PUB LTE: Legalize ItSat, 12 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Arthur, Skip Area:Florida Lines:26 Added:03/12/2016

I am a '60s person, a retired exec, a Vietnam-era vet, et. al.

I was at Woodstock and Goose Lake. I have been smoking joints since then - no, not every day or even every week. It is not addictive and does not force one to use heavier, hardcore drugs.

Marijuana should be legalized and taxed like many of our Western states have done. Of course, in Florida the cartels will not let that happen. They would lose money. This is 2016. Will someone wake up?

Skip Arthur



19 US FL: LTE: Reject 'Party Now, Pay Later' Pot CitationsThu, 10 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Miller, Teresa Area:Florida Lines:60 Added:03/11/2016

Voting 6-1, the Tampa City Council is considering a civil citation for persons over 21 who are arrested with 20 grams or less of marijuana. The intent of this citation is to potentially prevent a person from getting a criminal record for possessing pot, and to save our county money in court and jail costs. It was suggested that minority groups are being arrested at higher rates for possession and impacting their ability to get a job in the future.

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20US FL: Editorial: Tampa's Marijuana GambleSat, 05 Mar 2016
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/06/2016

It is disheartening to see the Tampa City Council move ahead with a risky plan to decriminalize marijuana use.

The council voted 6-1 Thursday to support an ordinance to issue only civil citations for possession of 20 grams or less of pot. Mayor Bob Buckhorn has indicated he supports the measure, so it's likely to go into effect soon after council gives it a second hearing on March 17.

We respect the council's concerns, but this overly lenient plan is likely to lead to more drug abuse and crime.

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