MMJ Bills Filed in Both House and Senate

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  MMJ Bills Filed in Both House and Senate

Posted by CN Staff on January 09, 2012 at 17:00:19 PT
By Anne Geggis, Gainesville Sun 
Source: Gainesville Sun 

Florida -- A state budget crunch that won’t quit, legislative reapportionment and gaming are expected to crowd the legislative season that starts in Tallahassee Tuesday — but for some, nothing has quite the same buzz as an effort to allow the medical use of marijuana. It’s the second year in a row that legislation has been filed to start Florida on the path that 16 other states and the District of Columbia have taken, starting with California in 1996. And this year represents the first time that a bill allowing marijuana as a medicinal has been filed in both the House and the Senate.
For some from the home of “Gainesville Green” — a celebrated strain of marijuana — and the recently revived Hemp Fest — including those who have served jail time for being a “Doobie Tosser” — this legislation can’t come quickly enough. House Joint Resolution 353 and Senate Joint Resolution 1028 propose that the question of allowing marijuana for medical use should appear on the 2012 ballot as a statewide referendum. If approved by at least 60 percent of the voters, the state constitution would be amended. Never mind that neither of the bills has been scheduled for hearings. Jodi James, executive director of the Florida Cannabis Action Network, is, well, elated. “This is the first time since 1978 that cannabis advocates will have a sustained presence in the Legislature,” said James, explaining that her Melbourne-based group has launched a website, in the effort. Even more than advocating for the proposed legislation, James’ group is planning on petitioning Gov. Rick Scott, asking him to urge the Legislature to pass a bill that bypasses the constitutional amendment process and allows medical marijuana use in Florida. “Sick and dying people need access to this medicine now,” James said. But Sen. Steve Oelrich, R-Cross Creek, calls the proposed legislation “a sham.” Drug laws might need to be revamped, but allowing the use of marijuana under the guise of medical treatment is not the way to do it, he said. “Let’s address the bigger issue and have a debate about that,” he said. On the streets of Gainesville working as an undercover narcotics investigator, former Gainesville Police Deputy Chief Mike Jones said he has started thinking that marijuana ought to be legal. Pro-marijuana organizers say Jones might be one of the witnesses who legislators hear from in the upcoming push. “When I came out of the undercover assignment in my first year at GPD, I was convinced that marijuana would be legal in the next five years, “ said Jones, who now lives in New Mexico and has gotten marijuana as medicine from Veterans Affairs doctors for his post-traumatic stress disorder. “I couldn’t see the threat anywhere near what prohibitionists were claiming.” And working in his next assignment — patrol — convinced him even more, he said. “I never had a problem with anyone who had been smoking marijuana — they were easy to deal with, often funny,” he said. “On the other hand, though, when there was drinking, people two and three times my age wanted to fight me and offered to do all kinds of vile things with me.” Before retiring from the police department in 1991, the Marine combat veteran from the Vietnam conflict started to come in contact with others who were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, like him. After retirement, he moved to Sedona, Ariz., where the drug was more readily available. He said he’s stopped all intoxicants for the last six months, to be more in keeping with his Buddhist practices, but he’s willing to be part of a speaker’s bureau in favor of medicinal marijuana use that’s more controlled than California’s model. “It’s saved my life,” he said, “more than once.”But medical thinking has not caught up with the practice. And Dr. Scott Teitelbaum, medical director of the Florida Recovery Center and chief of the Division of Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida, calls medical marijuana a farce. First of all, no doctor concerned about his patient’s health would recommend a drug that is delivered by smoking. Not only is it harmful, it delivers an imprecise dose, he said. “California has been a disaster,” he said. He’s quick to point to the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s white paper on the issue: “Rigorous research is needed to better understand the significance of different cannabinoid formulations and ratios, methods of administration and dose-response relationships. Cannabis has a range of effects, some of which may be disturbing to patients with serious medical conditions…” But state Sen. Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, who is sponsoring the bill in the Senate, said that what started as a courtesy filing has become a cause for her, after she started looking into it. Her belief that it should pass stems from 1) wanting to de-glamorize it for young people who are looking to do something illegal, and 2) the medical relief it offers to those who need it. And it’s good for the state budget, too, she said. “The state spends $288 million of effort due to the prohibition of marijuana,” she said, adding that it could also be a source of tax revenue. Scott Camil, a Gainesville anti-war activist who founded Veterans for Peace in 1987, said that marijuana not only helped him cope with the post-traumatic stress he brought back from Vietnam after serving there as a Marine combat soldier, it opened up his mind. It was all part of his education at the University of Florida, said Camil, who is featured in a six-minute University of Florida film, “Gainesville Greens.” “I never imagined it would be illegal this late,” he said, shaking his head. “I know plenty of people in positions of authority who have smoked marijuana — professors, teachers, doctors.”Hemp Fest organizer Dennis “Murli” Watkins has served time for marijuana infractions, mostly, he says, from a Hemp Fest “doobie-tossing” that distributed some 3,000 joints to revelers at one 1995 event. It earned him the nickname “doobie tosser.” “It’d be hard to find a white man who has smoked more marijuana than me,” said Watkins, who helped cultivate Hemp Fest for this past November after it had been dormant for 11 years. He said he’s 100 percent disabled from his experience as a combat soldier in Vietnam and finds that marijuana is a spiritual plant that allows its users to see society’s lies. Watkins said his daily routine of smoking medicine-grade marijuana starts soon after he has his first cup of coffee — something to help him cope with the stress of caring for his 84-year-old mother. But he’s surprised his 16-year-old daughter didn’t want to attend the event that he said attracted 1,000 people downtown. Police estimated the attendance at more like 300. “She said, ‘Why would I want to hang out with a bunch of potheads?’” Watkins said of his daughter’s reaction to the suggestion that she attend Hemp Fest.Newshawk: rchandar Source: Gainesville Sun, The (FL)Author: Anne Geggis, Gainesville SunPublished: January 7, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Gainesville SunContact: voice gvillesun.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #22 posted by FoM on January 11, 2012 at 16:51:25 PT

I'm glad for you. I really like my new computer. I love not having a tower taking up space. My old computer still works so I can turn it on if I need to find something.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on January 11, 2012 at 16:45:29 PT

Comment 20
Yes, I did! My old notebook needs to be overhauled and repaired. I got a fifteen inch HP notebook for an amazing price. I'm tickled to have it. Easier than having a big ol' keyboard attached to the notebook. That's for sure.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on January 11, 2012 at 06:30:48 PT

Did you get a new computer? 
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on January 11, 2012 at 04:22:47 PT

My sister said the parachute helped it from not sinking as far as it would have. I don't know if they were near the Bermuda Triangle but they sure could have been.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 21:05:57 PT

They'll find out what went wrong...
What went right, in this case is what matters. Many people, including I, are very thankful they are ok and that they will live on doing more good deeds for the neediest of people. I could be wrong, but they were in the Bermuda Triangle, weren't they? Good to know they escaped that fate, too.Also, I think it's pretty amazing the plane is recoverable.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on January 10, 2012 at 19:16:14 PT

He has it serviced before every flight and that confuses the family. They will recover or have recovered it by now and will figure out if something broke. Something sure happened for it to die like that. He flys into dangerous places so maintenance is very important.
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 17:58:35 PT

The plane and the man and the situation
I did notice he had everything in order... the parachute... the raft... all the stuff that should be done right and checked before one goes up. I just can't understand why there wasn't oil where it should be. My husband says that's one of the things you always do before you take off... check the oil and he never heard of such a thing happening. For there to be no oil in the crankshaft a lot of oil had to be lost and it would be odd that he wouldn't notice it. They will find out what happened... but regardless, I'm so glad they were prepared and were able to survive it.

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Comment #15 posted by FoM on January 10, 2012 at 15:38:51 PT

I guess the article is right. I thought it was a Cessna but I don't know the difference between a Cessna and a Cirrus. My one niece went to visit them and he took her up in that plane. He said to her now you drive. She said what! He said it's easy give it a try. For a few moments she flew that plane and said it was an amazing experience. He has another one so he still has a plane and will get a new one because he carries good insurance luckily. Most important they both are alive.
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 15:05:28 PT

 One article said the aircraft was a Cirrus. escape for pair after private plane plummets into sea off Bahamas coast"Dr McGlaughlin, who was flying the Cirrus SR22 plane, is an experienced pilot and member of the Cirrus Owners Pilots Association."Cessna is a different plane. I only notice it because my husband used to work for a Cessna dealer.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 14:58:42 PT

FoM Comment 11
"He also has a respected practice in Alabama too." Yes, I saw comments on one of the articles about the incident from some locals. A man commented that he was his doctor and that he was wonderful doctor and a wonderful human being. He's obviously well loved and well respected. I so admire him and his daughter, myself.

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Comment #12 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 14:54:19 PT

Oh Martha...
Somehow.. today... I'm just stressed about trying to stay calm. It's all such an outrage.Vincent, I've always been angry and deeply outraged over it all... I've just tried to stay calm... because like even in boxing... fighting... debating... it's important to stay calm and not be overcome by anger. But I am sometimes. I fight very hard to not hate the people but only their sin or their cruel acts... but I'm experiencing extreme fury lately. Maybe, like FoM said, it's because we've nearly won... but I'm so tired of their pompous, arrogant cruelty and I've seen it hurt so many and my fear for those that believe themselves free to disobey the dangerous monster that prohibition is grows daily and I fear the prohibitionists and what they do and can do to people over an herb, a healing plant... and ultimately we hate that which we fear. Maybe because we are winning and have so nearly won... that my fury has overflowed beyond my ability to hold it in. My anger is righteous anger... and I haven't crossed the line into unrighteous anger... like the prohibitionists have... but I'm sick of them... but I still have enough self control not to curse them all to some sort of doom. It's about my religion... which requires self control and a sense of mercy on the unjust. My mercy still extends to their souls... but certainly not to their acts against their fellow man. I have never found a way to accept or condone their acts and I won't ever. I have to speak out against them and I want to stop them. I haven't been able to stop them with reasoning... so I think I need to point out their wickedness and vileness which is beyond enduring.Mercy on their souls is all my heart can allow them. They stink of their filth. They need cleaning up and maybe it's time now just to bring to their attention how vile they are. All of them! Clean up from your vileness, filth, and disease of the soul, you stinking prohibitionists!I must keep my rage from turning to jibberish, which can happen... but I think I'm going to have to voice my rage more... or just sit here and weep... and I do not wish to do that again on their account. I'm outraged and I always have been... but sometimes you have to call a creep a creep if he is one and he's actively pursuing his nasty creepiness.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 10, 2012 at 14:41:23 PT

Thank you. I talked to my sister today. The Cessna which is Dick's plane didn't have oil in the crankshaft. They will figure out why it didn't. He is quite a person. He has done work all around the world. He was on his way to teach some young Haitian doctors about gastroenterology and how to be effective in treating outbreaks and other things. He also has a respected practice in Alabama too.
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Comment #10 posted by Vincent on January 10, 2012 at 14:05:06 PT:

Hope, you don't say...
Hello Hope, I just read your post and let me say...WOW!  
You, who had admonished me on several occasions for my militant stances, wrote:"I wouldn't mind giving a couple of them (prohibitionists) a bloody nose, a busted lip or black eye. Wouldn't mind knocking a few of their teeth out either".I read some of your other posts on this article. You sound QUITE angry! And I don't blame you. Prohibitionists and Conservatives in general -- like Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich or Mitt "I love to fire people" Romney, when they (don't) answer questions about their stance on Medical Marijuana -- say and do things that "try men's souls".Don't hide it Hope...let it out! It's very refreshing! Let out your inner Che Guevara.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 10, 2012 at 14:02:15 PT

Please do your best not to let them get to you. It isn't good for your health or anyone's health to fret over them. We are winning. We have long past the point of no return. It's only a matter of time. Slowly it is becoming wise to admit the drug war is wrong and not to say lock em up and throw away the key. Most seriously thinking and questioning people have given it thought. Most families have someone who has had trouble with using illegal substances and must stare at it straight on. Time just a little more time.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 12:58:10 PT

Maybe slap them, too...
or pinch a hunk out of them.I wouldn't mind giving a couple of them a bloody nose, a busted lip or black eye. Wouldn't mind knocking a few of their teeth out either.I've lost all patience with the vicious busy body, all in everyone else's business, scoundrels.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 12:55:13 PT

If I ever had a gift for being able to reason with mean, self righteous no good devils... I've lost it. I only want to spit on them these days.

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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 12:54:06 PT

It's good to think about some good people
and some "miracles". Really good.I'm furious today. As, sadly, I am many days. I'm furious with the prohibitionists and everyone that supports them and their wicked activities against other people. I'm furious, furious, furious.And helpless to do anything about it... and therefore growing more and more bitter about it all everyday. It's an outrage and it goes on year after year.Prohibitionists are evil, evil, evil and they are just allowed to continue with their evil year after year after year and there are enough stinking neanderthal, self righteous, evil thinkers in the world to support them.I have to think about all the good people fighting for freedom... peacefully and trying to reason so eloquently with the devils of prohibition of cannabis, and other drugs as well. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be able to draw a peaceful breath in the face of this outrage. 

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Comment #5 posted by Hope on January 10, 2012 at 12:43:55 PT

I'd have to go back and look at it again...
it was some other sort of plane. A Chyrro or something like that, I think. It looked like an especially tiny plane.Your nephew seems like a remarkably fine and good and caring man and his daughter was lovely and wonderful. You must be very honored to have such lovely family.I remember them from the earthquake in Haiti. They were helping ;the people of Haiti during that horrible time, too.Cholera? Wow. And flying right into it to help those in need. Very impressive and admirable people.

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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 10, 2012 at 05:12:02 PT

Thank you. It was the Cessna having the parachute that saved their lives. A friend who has his pilot's license said they would have hit the water with such a force without it they wouldn't have survived. 
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on January 09, 2012 at 21:24:48 PT

Comment 2
I'm so thankful they're ok!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 09, 2012 at 18:51:28 PT

Off Topic: A Miracle
My nephew and great niece survived a plane crash on the way to Haiti to help with a Cholera epidemic. He is a Gastroenterologist.
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on January 09, 2012 at 18:41:21 PT

in the news
The Aussies and Kiwis have the most cannabis usage.

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