Florida Marijuana Campaign Heats Up
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Florida Marijuana Campaign Heats Up
Posted by CN Staff on September 26, 2014 at 12:41:10 PT
By Bill Cotterell
Source: Reuters
Tallahassee, Fla. -- Opponents of a proposal to let doctors in Florida prescribe marijuana are poised to launch a $1.6 million advertising campaign on Monday, with potential side effects for the state's heated race for governor in November.Political consultants say a public battle over the proposed constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana, included on this year's midterm election ballot, could boost turnout among young voters for Democrat Charlie Crist, who supports the measure. The extra support may be enough to help him defeat incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott, who opposes it.
But opponents of Amendment 2 got a major boost when Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas casino magnate and a major Republican fundraiser, put up $2.5 million of the $3.2 million raised by Drug Free Florida.The ads will attack "loopholes," which law enforcement authorities say could lead to recreational use of the drug, said Sarah Bascom, whose Tallahassee consulting firm is handling the Drug Free Florida campaign."Our message is, this is not about sick people," she said. Even if more young voters turn out for the marijuana referendum, Bascom said "a vote down-ticket doesn't mean they're going to vote up-ticket" in the governor's race.Some 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia already have passed laws allowing medical marijuana in some form, beginning with California in 1996.The public petition campaign that put the amendment on the Florida ballot promised relief for suffers of diseases like cancer, AIDS and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. But the measure would also allow doctors to prescribe marijuana whenever they determine benefits outweigh potential risks.The no campaign is being supported by wide-ranging "Don't Let Florida Go To Pot" coalition of medical and law-enforcement organizations arguing that the amendment does not provide any minimum age or residency requirements for obtaining marijuana.Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan, a Crist backer who figures on spending $6 million of his own money on the medical-marijuana initiative, believes the referendum will draw up to 4 percent more voters to the polls Nov. 4, including college students who believe marijuana is no big deal, elderly voters who have friends who covertly puff some pot to relieve nausea from chemotherapy and libertarians who believe it is none of the government's business.Morgan, who has been touring the state in a motorcoach, said the amendment might help Crist in what is expected to be a close race, but denied sponsoring the drive for that reason."We're registering people who never registered before, so I think turnout is going to be 2, 3, maybe even 4 points higher than we might have seen, but for this," he said during a visit to the University of Florida last week.While supporting the amendment, Crist has distanced himself a little from the medical marijuana campaign."It might get more younger voters to turn out," Crist, a former Republican who was governor 2007-11, said in an interview. "I really don't know is the honest answer," he added. "It may well increase turnout because if you're educating people about this being on the ballot, who otherwise might not have known it, then you're ginning it up."Supporters of the amendment say polling shows nearly 70 percent of likely voters back the measure with only 28 percent opposed.But a recent Public Policy Polling survey showed just 61 percent support and a poll by the Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9 and the Bob Graham Center at the University of Florida showed only 57 percent backing. Florida constitutional amendments require 60 percent support to pass.Steve Schale, a member of the Crist campaign and a senior aide in President Barack Obama's two Florida campaigns, said amendment supporters might favor Crist more than Scott, but jobs, education and many other issues will be more decisive.David Johnson of Strategic Vision in Atlanta, a Republican campaign planner, said it was hard to see young voters turning out in large numbers over one issue.However, he cautioned, "Remember, even an uptick of 1 or 2 percent in a close race could make the difference." Editing by David Adams and David GregorioSource: Reuters (Wire)Author: Bill CotterellPublished: September 26, 2014Copyright: 2014 Thomson ReutersCannabisNews   Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by Universer on September 27, 2014 at 23:34:04 PT
OT: Col. Gov Hopeful W/ Good Msg, Helped By Wyclef
Worth a watch - especially if you vote in Colorado.
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Comment #1 posted by Oleg the Tumor on September 27, 2014 at 12:24:18 PT
Florida - Your Future is Calling . . . 
Cannabis Hemp is not a "one-trick" pony!There are dozens of industries waiting to be supplied by the cannabis hemp industry. They will need workers. They will pay taxes.For anyone to come to the conclusion that Marijuana should remain illegal, should be worth incarcerating people (mostly of color) to pacify the big money, is to sell your soul to those same interests, all for what? To find out that you've been duped by a criminal?Cannabis was not a problem in 1776, why is it a problem now?
And what is the problem exactly? What does this one plant hold that is so important, so flagrantly evil that it must be suppressed even from public discussion whenever possible? The freedom to think (and sort the truth from the lies) on your own time. Wow. That scares people. They should be scared. The lies no longer have the same effect they once had. The issue is jobs. We need an economy that produces THINGS instead of simply creating DEBT in order to be monetized. Think fabric, think plastics, think biofuels, paints and varnishes, floor covering and paper (PAPER FROM HEMP DOES NOT REQUIRE CHLORINE BLEACH! IT USES HYDROGEN PEROXIDE INSTEAD!Think of the continued flow of all the Baby Boomers Social Security money to the cartels. Why Support That?GIVE BACK WHAT YOU TOOK FROM US 2 AUGUST, 1937!FREE THE PRISONER OF SCHEDULE ONE!
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