-News from NORML of Florida
Here is a link to the Medical Marijuana petition. If you have not signed a petition since the election of November 2014, you need to sign this new one.
Please print as many as you can, have them filled in by friends, family, co-workers, etc, and remember to have them signed and dated on the back. As with the last petition, the signers must be registered voters in Florida. If you know someone who is not a registered voter and who cannot figure out how to register, assuming the person is eligible to vote, connect us and I will help.
Once again, if you go out to collect petitions it asks for name, address with city, zip code and county (not state or country) and either voter registration number, if available, OR date of birth. There is a box that can be checked to change the voter’s address to a new one, if needed. Please ask folks to print their information legibly.
If you need the petitions picked up, reach out to me and we will arrange it, but if you can mail them in, the mailing address is on the back of the petition.
Together we can change the law, but we need these petitions to be able to move forward.
U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Corey Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have announced that they intend to introduce a bill which would legalize the medical use of cannabis at the Federal level. The bill will allow states which have enacted their own medical marijuana laws to operate without the prospect of Federal intervention hanging over their heads. It will also allow for military veterans in medical marijuana states to receive care from the government.
The fact that the bill is being introduced in the Senate and that it is being advanced from representatives of both parties if further proof that the facade of cannabis prohibition is continuing to erode.
Much has been written here and elsewhere about the conflict between Federal and State marijuana laws. While recent history has seen the two sides reaching something close to peaceful coexistence on the issue, a new lawsuit may threaten that delicate balance.
A group of Sheriff’s from within the state of Colorado and neighboring states have filed a Federal lawsuit challenging the legalization of cannabis under Colorado state law. Sheriff Justin Smith, from Larimer County Colorado, has joined the suit and argues that his deputies are being forced to choose whether to enforce two conflicting laws. He is joined by Sheriffs from Nebraska and Kansas who argue that Colorado’s legalization is causing marijuana to flood into neighboring states, overburdening their law enforcement and judicial resources.
The Department of Justice has taken a relatively hands-off approach towards this issue in recent years, but a Federal Judge may not share that approach and it could spell trouble for states that have liberalized marijuana laws or those considering changes. This suit is one that we all need to keep an eye on.
Last year, when the Florida Legislature passed a law allowing patients to receive “low-THC/high-CBD” strains of cannabis, there was some hope that the State’s prohibition against medical marijuana was starting to crack. After Gov. Rick Scott signed that measure into law, the Department of Health was charged with establishing guidelines for the dispensing of high-CBD cannabis by early 2015.
The deadlines have now come and gone and there is still no system in place. And what is worse is that it doesn’t appear that a solution to the problem is coming anytime soon.
First, a proposed lottery system for awarding dispensing licenses was challenged in a lawsuit and was eventually shot down by a judge.
Then, the Department of Agriculture balked at the idea of evaluating the fitness of those who apply for dispensaries.
Now, a lawyer for the State Legislature has criticized the new system for rating applicants for dispensing licenses, suggesting in a letter that the new point-based system is too vague.
As is too often the case with government bureaucracies, the Charlotte’s Web law is becoming entangled in a web of red tape that threatens to delay the delivery of much needed medicine. For how long is anyone’s guess.