US FL: Jury Convicts Man in Miami Medical Marijuana Growhouse
Miami Herald, 26 Sep 2015 - A jury did not believe a Miami-Dade man who insisted he grew 15 marijuana plants inside his home only to help ease the suffering of his cancer-stricken wife. The six-member jury on Friday night convicted Ricardo Varona of trafficking more than 25 pounds of marijuana and operating a marijuana growhouse. Taken into custody to await sentencing, Varona faces a mandatory minimum of three years in prison.
US FL: PUB LTE: Reforms Are Overdue
Tampa Bay Times, 08 Sep 2015 - REFORMS ARE OVERDUE Kudos to columnist John Romano for acknowledging that it is long past time to correct Florida's 'ill-advised anti-marijuana crusade.' No other state routinely punishes minor marijuana infractions more severely than Florida. Under state law, marijuana possession of 20 grams or less (about two-thirds of an ounce) is a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.
US FL: Group to Push Amendment That Would Completely Legalize
Orlando Sentinel, 02 Sep 2015 - Petitions will hit the streets soon for a proposed constitutional amendment that would fully legalize marijuana use, possession and cultivation by adults in Florida. A political-action committee called Floridians For Freedom, associated with a longtime marijuana-advocacy group called the Florida Cannabis Action Network, said Tuesday that it had received state approval to begin seeking signatures to get their measure on the November 2016 ballot.
US FL: OPED: Human Link Helps Addiction Recovery but It's Not
Orlando Sentinel, 27 Aug 2015 - When I was 13 years old, I decided to never touch drugs or alcohol due to my family's history of addiction. And I stuck to it. But if I trust author Johann Hari's recent TED Talk, "Everything you know about addiction is wrong," I should feel free to experiment. In the talk, Hari argues that the sole root of and cure for addiction is human connection, but there are some dangerous flaws in his argument.
US FL: County Looks At Easing Pot Laws
The Palm Beach Post, 23 Aug 2015 - Staff Researches Idea for a Much-Reduced Penalty for Small Amounts. WEST PALM BEACH - Palm Beach County is considering making possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil infraction - the equivalent of a traffic ticket - rather than a criminal offense.
US FL: PUB LTE: A Lesson To Be Learned
Tampa Tribune, 18 Aug 2015 - In response to "Hepatitis cases exploding in U.S." (Nation & World, Aug. 8): Twenty years ago that headline could have been written in Switzerland. An AIDS epidemic was out of control. The Swiss were so desperate they tried something radical: They allowed hardA-core addicts to register with the state to receive clean heroin. It was controversial at first, but in 2008 the public voted to include "heroin-assisted treatment" as a normal part of their national health system. They also made methadone freely available as a pharmaceutical. The proA-gram pays for itself in improved public health and safety. It also enables addicts to hold jobs and pay taxes. The average age at registration as an addict is slowly rising, indicating that kids are not becoming addicted, and the number of addicts needing her-oin has stabilized at about 1,300, in a population about the same as Florida. The key to success was to de-politicize the issue and involve both law enforcement and the medical community. Even the United Nations Office of Drug Control has backed off its criticism of the program. The Swiss are onto something. It is a story that needs telling.
US FL: Lesser Penalty For Pot Weighed
Sun-Sentinel, 05 Aug 2015 - Hallandale Officials Likely to Approve $100 Civil Fine HALLANDALE BEACH - Gone to pot? Get caught in Hallandale Beach with up to 20 grams of marijuana, and you may be looking at a $100 civil fine instead of criminal charges.
US FL: Poll: Majority Of Floridians Back Medical Marijuana
Orlando Sentinel, 03 Aug 2015 - A new poll finds that two-thirds of likely Florida voters are willing to vote yes for medical marijuana legalization. The survey, done by St. Pete Polls, finds majority support for medical marijuana in every market of the state. Overall, 68.2 percent of those surveyed say "yes" when asked: "If the new medical marijuana initiative makes it on to the ballot this year will you vote for it?"
US FL: PUB LTE: Our Incarceration Nation
Tampa Tribune, 02 Aug 2015 - OUR INCARCERATION NATION There is a destination where you're about five times more likely to be incarcerated than the rest of the world. It's got only 4 percent of the planet's population but claims more than 20 percent of the world's population behind bars. It's not Syria, and it's not Cuba. That place is the United States of America.