Is anyone not moving for legalization now?
The controversial issue has been gaining attention across the country now that 18 states are allowing it in some form.
Florida Cannabis Action Network president Jodi James said she’s an advocate for "sensible cannabis policy.”
"What’s happening right now is that people who truly need access to the medicine don’t have it,” James said.
James leads a state movement that would like to see medical marijuana legalized in Florida, just like other states.
“They regulated it, they controlled it. The sky didn’t fall down and it makes more sense for public safety,” James said.
Right now there’s an effort by Democratic Senator Jeff Clemens from District 27 from Palm Beach County to create a bill that would legalize medical marijuana.
Other bills have failed but supporters said the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado for recreational use have opened the doors of opportunity.
But there are people against.
A groups like the Centers for Drug Free Living in Orlando said they don’t take a stance on whether it should be legal or not but think their treatment facilities would feel an impact.
"The easier to get it, the more likely it will probably be used and the more it’s used the more addiction and abuse you are going to see out of it,” said Center For Drug Free Living official Todd Dixon.
Dixon also said there are serious downfalls to smoking it.
"Smoking in general, whether it’s marijuana or tobacco has a whole other host of negative health side effects,” Dixon said.
The group partnership at DrugFree.org issued News 13 a statement regarding the issue:
"Legalization of marijuana does not change the reality that use of marijuana, alcohol or any drug in adolescence poses risks to childhood brain development and significantly increases the likelihood of progression to addiction.
What legalization may well increase is the availability of marijuana to teens – and the kind of aggressive marketing to underage users that alcohol and tobacco companies have consistently engaged in – to the clear detriment of young people’s health and well-being.
In the interest of protecting kids, and based on the perspective of parents, we believe that adding marijuana to the menu of legally available substances and marketed products will make it more likely that kids will use it. The need for education, prevention and guidance toward effective treatment increases dramatically with legalized marijuana. Our role in motivating and equipping parents to prevent or get help with a child’s involvement with drugs does not diminish, but instead becomes all the more important.
From this perspective, The Partnership at Drugfree.org does not support legalized and marketed marijuana."
"You can’t go to the mall without being bombarded with something with a pot leaf, so what kind of message are we sending to our kids,” James said.
Whether you agree or not, the issue is being talked about both in homes across the country and in Tallahassee.
“Marijuana is already here, cannabis is already here, now get to make some tough decisions on how we are going to regulate it or control it, who we are going to let have access to it, and who shouldn’t have access to it, so we want to have that conversation I think this is the year,” James said.
Clemens said the bill is currently in the drafting phase. It should be completed within the next few weeks.
- If you ask me they prob should have just sank it. -TG
The U.S. Coast Guard is boasting that one of its cutter crews seized 8,500 pounds marijuana off the coast of San Pedro this week.
That's a lot of weed headed for a region where it's essentially legal to sell it in storefronts. Makes you wonder.
Anyway, Coast Guard officials said the catch was worth ...
... a whopping $7.7 million. The haul means that our friendly USCG men and women of the sea have tallied "a 50-ton milestone for waterborne marijuana seizures in Southern California and the Pacific Southwest border region this fiscal year," according to a statement.
That's nearly $91 million worth of weed. Wow. Did we mention that it's basically legal to sell pot in California?
The Coast Guard says there has been an "increase" in, er, high-seas pot busts this year.
|U.S. Coast Guard|
The seizure was made Wednesday by the San Francisco-based Coast Guard Cutter Aspen about 160 miles offshore, according to the USCG. (The Aspen patrols the entire California coast).
Petty Officer Cory Mendenhall told the Weekly the pot was found on a 33-foot "panga" boat that likely came from Mexico.
Six people on the boat were detained as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigates.
Capt. James Jenkins, commander of the Coast Guard's Los Angeles/Long Beach area, says:
Stopping these drugs from reaching our streets is a great accomplishment, but it's just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the impact on the drug trafficking organizations.
Gosh, has anyone bought weed on "our streets" around here in the last five years?
By Kyle Munzenrieder,
Wed., Mar. 2 2011 @ 1:32PM
With 14 states and the District of Colombia allowing the legal medical use of marijuana, acceptance of the issue is steadily growing in America. A new poll shows that 57 percent of Floridians support legalization of medical marijuana as buzz grows that the issue could be placed on the ballot as soon as 2012.
Bob Norman reports that the poll was conducted by Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, a Republican firm that worked with Rick Scott's gubernatorial campaign. The pollsters asked point blank: "If there was a Constitutional Amendment on the statewide ballot to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes only when prescribed by a practicing physician and the election were held today, would you vote YES to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes or NO to stop it?"Fifty-seven percent said they would vote yes (roughly 41 percent said they definitely would, and about 17 percent said they probably would). A recent ABC News poll shows that across the nation, 81 percent of voters support medical marijuana. It's possible this poll might even be conservative in estimating support.
Norman reports that such an amendment could come to the ballot in 2012, but 60 percent of voters would need to check yes for such a measure to pass.
Although there wasn't a big statistical difference based on gender and race, slightly more women were supportive of the measure than men. Fifity-nine percent of whites, 58 percent of Hispanics, and 55 percent of blacks would vote yes.
Voters in Miami would support the measure at 58 percent, but West Palm has the biggest munchies for medical marijuana, with 73 percent. Seventy-nine percent of voters 18 to 24 would vote yes, while even a majority of voters 65 and older are supportive of the measure, at 53 percent.
Second person to recieve medical marijuana speaks at NORML event
By Kendall Bierer, Central Florida Future
Published: Monday, February 21, 2011
The 58-year-old stockbroker has smoked 10-12 cannabis sativa cigarettes every day for more than 28 years.
Rosenfeld, who was the second person to get medical marijuana ever and NORML's third speaker for Medical Marijuana Month, spoke to the UCF community on Feb. 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Key West Ballroom.
In 1971, his first year of college, Rosenfeld was introduced to marijuana for the first time. As a young man who'd had numerous surgeries and chemical drugs to treat his rare bone disease, Rosenfeld did not understand why a healthy person would need to use illegal drugs. He admitted that he had been an advocate against it.
At that time, Rosenfeld was prescribed to take more than 30 pills a day including but not limited to morphine, Quaalude and Valium to treat his multiple congenital cartilaginous exostoses, which he's had since he was 10 years old. His body had more than 200 tumors in it and even after his growth plates had halted, a second rare disease, pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism, developed. His doctors told him it was a death sentence.
Before using marijuana medically, his use was purely social even though he didn't agree with it.
"It was a way of making friends, and even though I thought it was garbage, I liked being able to make friends through the use of it," Rosenfeld said.
The tenth time he smoked was the first time he'd sat for more than 10 minutes without discomfort and medication.
"Once I discovered that cannabis was the medicine I needed, I knew I would be arrested and I would be sunk if caught with it," Rosenfeld said. "I am not a criminal, I am a patient."
Since age 21 Rosenfeld has not had another tumor form. His doctors were astounded and couldn't figure out why, but Rosenfeld knew it was because of his recently discovered medication.
He decided to drop out of college after his third semester and move back to Virginia to take on the Federal government. He gained support from his family and doctor and started the persistent fight to gain access to his medicine, a battle that would last 10 years.
In 1982, Rosenfeld, who has the Federal right to smoke his cannabis sativa cigarettes wherever smoking is permitted, received his first tin canister of 320 cigarettes. The government refers to his medication as an experimental new drug that only four patients currently have access to.
When it came time for his doctor to write a report on the success of his use, Rosenfeld knew how it'd be received.
"I told him the truth," Rosenfeld said of the conversation with his doctor. "Any positive report was going to be buried because the government has no interest in the positive aspects of cannabis."
On the report written after that, his doctor decided to write on every page in big red letters "it's working."
The government said nothing.
"The truth is that the government only gave me medicinal cannabis because I backed them in a corner," Rosenfeld said. "They have no interest in continuing this program once the patients are gone."
As stated in his book, My Medicine, the program will terminate when the patients do. He realized four years ago that he needed to share his story; otherwise, it would die with him.
"I know I am taking a risk with the Federal government and my book, but I need to educate people," said Rosenfeld. "The government doesn't want to know and that's what we are up against. I went public so I could be the face of the medical marijuana movement."
Rosenfeld made sure to distinguish between the words ‘cannabis' and ‘marijuana.'
"What I get every 25 days is cannabis sativa, not marijuana," he said. "By using the word ‘marijuana' or ‘pot' you demonize the drug. Every time we use the word ‘pot', we are playing into their hands."
Rosenfeld is creating a new company, Medical Cannabis Solutions, which is going to attempt to achieve something never done before, write its own state law. As the face of the movement, Rosenfeld has credibility when speaking about the battle for his medicine and the necessity to make it available to all patients. He estimates that it will take about six months to a year to complete the project.
Music education junior Chelsey Sprouse can personally attest to the benefits of marijuana used as medicine. Sprouse, who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease, was prescribed eight pills a day by her doctor, but has opted to use marijuana instead.
"Now I get home and I take one hit of cannabis and instantly I am better," said Sprouse. "It helps me eat. It is almost a miracle because it is something nothing else has been able to do. Cannabis is a better choice."
Rosenfeld hopes his work will make cannabis a choice for others.
"This battle is a lot longer and harder than any of us realized, but we are a step closer than we were before."