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
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The girls knew the rules, and especially the consequences. Their
father would never raise a hand to them, but he was an aficionado of
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
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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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
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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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
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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
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Dr. Joseph Dorn has had a unique vantage
point when it comes to the burgeoning medical marijuana industry in
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
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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
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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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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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.
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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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.
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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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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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
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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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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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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?
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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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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