Media Awareness Project Drug News
  1. US FL: PUB LTE: Misguided On Pot

    Orlando Sentinel, 01 May 2016 - Regarding Orlando City Commissioner Samuel B. Ings' My Word column, "Ings: Here's why I'm voting no on easing pot penalties," on Wednesday: Ings' opinion is, at best, short-sighted and antiquated. Ings insists that recreational marijuana use should remain a criminal activity. The perception that recreational marijuana use is criminal is dying a slow death, and deservedly so. I expect Ings is unaware of how many of his friends might be recreational or medicinal users. This ordinance would not promote open marijuana smoking, as he assumes; there is a fine. Marijuana use would remain illegal.
  2. US FL: Familiar Aroma Pervades Sunfest

    The Palm Beach Post, 01 May 2016 - Concertgoers Indulge in Marijuana in Violation of City Law. WEST PALM BEACH - After 7:30 p.m. Friday night, you could smell it. There was no escaping the odor, which permeated the night sky like smoke bellowing from a chimney. The stench of marijuana was as prevalent and as synonymous with SunFest as the downtown traffic jams.
  3. US FL: PUB LTE: Kudos For Pot Vote

    Orlando Sentinel, 30 Apr 2016 - Mayor Buddy Dyer and the city of Orlando recently passed, 4-3, the initial vote to deprioritize arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana. I'm thankful for Dyer and Commissioners Regina Hill, Patty Sheehan and Robert Stuart for their support of the ordinance. I, unfortunately, left the City Council meeting feeling disappointed in Commissioner Samuel Ings for voting against it. We live in a society where young black men and boys have been a target of the war on drugs. Ings argues that this policy would tarnish the image of Orlando as a family vacation destination.
  4. US FL: OPED: Obama Must Do More To Fight Heroin

    Orlando Sentinel, 28 Apr 2016 - President Obama's administration has missed opportunities to stem the opioid overdose crisis, and therefore it's no great surprise that heroin overdose deaths have tripled since 2010. The administration dragged its feet on requiring mental health and addiction treatment to have the same insurance coverage as physical ailments; inexplicably, it took five years to write the federal regulations needed to implement the 2008MentalHealth Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Many insurance plans still ignore the need for parity, studies show. The administration is only this month finalizing rules to implement parity for mental health and addiction treatment in Medicaid...
  5. US FL: OPED: Ings: Here's Why I'm Voting No on Easing Pot

    Orlando Sentinel, 27 Apr 2016 - The City of Orlando 2016-36 Ordinance relating to the possession of cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia encourages bad behavior. Accountability to our community as a whole for a wholesome life is a must for us as elected officials. If we were to sanction this ordinance, we would be going down a very slippery slope. People are confused. Some think this measure would decriminalize, or legalize, marijuana, and others think it allows the use of medical marijuana. People need to know, and understand, that this ordinance would make it easier for criminals to use marijuana with fewer criminal charges and less punishment.
  6. US FL: Science Of Addiction Is Challenge To Apply

    Orlando Sentinel, 24 Apr 2016 - He was 40 years old, a father of three and an Orlando house painter, clean and sober for eight years. One night last summer, he climbed into his truck, stuck a needle in his arm and injected himself with what would be his final dose of heroin. "The paramedics worked on him for a long time... and when they declared him dead, he was still clutching his last bag of the drug in his fist," says Pastor Spence Pfleiderer. "That's the power of addiction."
  7. US FL: Medical Marijuana Will Be Back On The Ballot

    Orlando Weekly, 20 Apr 2016 - Love Is In The Air Remember that time in 2014 when medical marijuana got a half-million more votes than Gov. Rick Scott but was still defeated? No? Let's recap. Two years ago, Florida's biggest political issue, aside from Scott beating Charlie Crist and his loyal Vornado Air Circulator fan for a second term, was Amendment 2, a measure that would have legalized medical marijuana for people with debilitating medical conditions. United for Care and its chairman, Orlando attorney John Morgan, pulled in millions of dollars to fight for the initiative. Drug Free Florida, which counted on supporters like the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, hauled in its own share of cash, including a $5 million contribution from casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, to oppose medical marijuana.
  8. US FL: Orlando Closer To Ok On Pot Measure

    Orlando Sentinel, 19 Apr 2016 - Orlando moved a major step closer to effectively decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana on Monday, when the City Council narrowly backed a measure that would allow officers to issue tickets to some people caught with the drug. Commissioners voted 4-3 to approve the ordinance, which would make possession of 20 grams (about two-thirds of an ounce) or less a violation of city code carrying a $50 fine for first-time offenders.
  9. US FL: OPED: Alabama Marijuana Sentence Is Wrong

    Sun-Sentinel, 16 Apr 2016 - Lee Carroll Brooker, a 75-year-old disabled veteran suffering from chronic pain, was arrested in July 2011 for growing three dozen marijuana plants for his medicinal use behind his son's house in Dothan, Ala., where he lived. For this crime, Mr. Brooker was given a life sentence with no possibility of release. Alabama law mandates that anyone with certain prior felony convictions be sentenced to life without parole for possessing more than1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of marijuana, regardless of intent to sell. Mr. Brooker had been convicted of armed robberies in Florida two decades earlier, for which he served 10 years. The marijuana plants collected at his son's house-including unusable parts like vines and stalks-weighed 2.8 pounds.