medical marijuana

Florida is getting closer to allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.

But first, rules for how to grow the non-euphoric strain of the drug have to be hashed out — and that’s what a committee will be discussing over the next two days in Tallahassee.

There's a new push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, and a Republican lawmaker is leading the charge.

Though a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana failed in November, Republican lawmaker state Sen. Jeff Brandes has filed a bill to make medical marijuana legal for Florida residents.

"Amendment Two really was kind of a take-it-or-leave-it offer," said Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. 

Proponents of medical marijuana began an encore campaign for legalization Friday, filing a rewritten ballot measure just two months after one narrowly failed to pass.

Backers of the initial constitutional amendment appeared to have a wave of support on their side, but fell short of the 60 percent threshold needed as a surge of ads emerged claiming the measure's language was riddled with holes.

The state government and the marijuana industry in Colorado are working to educate people about how to use pot safely. But in the high Rockies, one community is taking matters into its own hands.

The local sheriff in Aspen is leading an education effort that targets skiers and snowboarders flocking to the winter resort. And the sheriff isn't waiting until visitors hit the slopes — their education starts at the airport with pamphlets on marijuana.

In the midterm elections earlier this month in Florida, the constitutional amendment to allow for the distribution of medical marijuana needed 60 percent of the vote to pass.

Amendment Two received 57.6 percent.

Supporters of medical marijuana may have lost their fight at the ballot box, but they're promising to take it back to the statehouse.

A day after Amendment 2 narrowly failed in Florida, the chairman and chief financier of the initiative said Wednesday that if lawmakers didn't successfully pursue the issue, it would be back before voters in 2016.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Amendment Two Gets Majority Of Votes, Does Not Pass

Nov 5, 2014
Jon Durr / Miami Herald Staff

Medical marijuana supporters in Florida were unsuccessful Tuesday night in garnering enough votes to pass Amendment Two.

Although 57.6 percent of votes were in support of Amendment Two, which would have legalized medical marijuana, the votes did not meet the 60-percent requirement to pass the amendment. 

WLRN reporter Diego Saldana-Rojas attended an Amendment Two watch party at Gramps Bar in Wynwood.

He said supporters were sharing drinks and watching the results fluctuate on large TV screens.

BoQunabo/flickr

Local governments are taking preemptive action in case voters approve Amendment Two, legalizing medical marijuana.

Municipalities around Florida have passed their own regulations before the Legislature can enact statewide rules.

City leaders in Naples voted to ban the sale and growth of medical marijuana. But if Amendment Two passes, the Legislature may overrule that decision.

If that happens, Naples Mayor John Sorey says another ordinance will keep the sale of the drug in a small medical zoning area.

Creative Commons via Flickr / Juushika Redgrave (https://flic.kr/p/p3MPT)

Anti-Amendment Two groups in Florida are using Halloween to highlight what, in their opinion, is another strike against the legalization of medical marijuana: marijuana-infused treats called “edibles.”

    

If voters approve Amendment Two, legalizing medical marijuana, the Florida Legislature will have the final say in how the amendment is carried out.

Lawmakers have the power to keep tight controls over how the drug is cultivated and dispensed.

Below, read an edited version of a conversation between WLRN's Tallahassee reporter Gina Jordan and Mary Ellen Klas of the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau.

What aren't the medical marijuana ads telling voters? 

Tom Hudson

John Demott has been growing palm trees, hibiscus flowers, ferns and any number of plants from the rocky South Dade County soil for more than 40 years. He never traveled to Tallahassee for a Florida legislative hearing until this spring, when Florida lawmakers were considering legalizing a certain kind of marijuana for a limited number of diseases.

Lawmakers did approve the bill and Gov. Rick Scott signed it into law in June, making growing pot legal in Florida, but with lots of rules.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Miami Grower Challenges Pot Licensee Rule

Sep 16, 2014
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department / lacounty.gov

Almost before the ink was dry, the state's largest nursery is protesting a rule floated by health regulators setting up the framework for Florida's new medical-marijuana industry.

Miami-based Costa Farms filed a challenge Monday in the state Division of Administrative Hearings, questioning the proposed use of a lottery to pick five licensees --- one in each region of the state --- to grow, process and distribute the non-euphoric strains of cannabis legalized by the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott this spring.

Marijuana Moms Want More Options For Sick Kids

Aug 22, 2014
Vlado / Flickr CC

  A group of Florida mothers is rallying to legalize marijuana -- for their kids. 

They call themselves the CannaMoms, and they share their experiences at conventions and in front of legislative committees. They want to spread the word that Charlotte’s Web is limited in what it can do.

Jacel Delgadillo witnesses her 3-year-old son, Bruno, sometimes having up to 300 seizures a day. He has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.

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