medical marijuana

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A Financial Impact Estimating Conference report concluded Monday that the cost of medical marijuana in Florida could not be determined due to uncertainty regarding taxation of the plant.

Although the Department of Health estimates the annual cost for Florida would be roughly $1 million, the FIEC report would be more-accurate if marijuana sales taxes were clear.

"The extent to which medical marijuana would be tax-exempt is unclear without legislative or state administrative action," the report said.

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Legislative leaders are joining the fight against an effort to get a medical marijuana proposal on the ballot next year.

Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Destin, and House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, say they will file a brief with the Florida Supreme Court opposing the initiative.

Gaetz sent a memo to the Florida Senate saying he doesn’t think the proposal meets legal requirements.

Over the past year, Americans' support for legalizing pot has surged 10 percentage points.

That's according to Gallup, which has been asking the question since 1969. That means that 58 percent of Americans — a clear majority for the first time in more than 40 years — support legalizing marijuana and just 39 percent say the opposite.

To see the dramatic shift in public opinion, just look at this historical graph from Gallup:

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The state is starting the process of figuring out how much it would cost to legalize medical marijuana. Private groups are gathering petition signatures to put a proposed constitutional amendment on next year’s ballot.

All citizen initiatives that propose changes to the Constitution must undergo a financial review.

Economists for the Florida Legislature will spend the next few weeks running the numbers.

Vesselka McAlarney with the Office of Demographic and Economic Research looked at data from other states that have legalized the drug. 

Canada is ushering in what it projects to be a $1.3 billion medical marijuana free market this week, as it replaces small and homegrown pot production with quality-controlled marijuana produced by large farms. The market could eventually serve up to 450,000 Canadians, according to government estimates.

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Organizers who want medical marijuana legalized in Florida have completed the first step toward getting a proposed constitutional amendment on next year's ballot. 

The United For Care campaign says medical marijuana is legally providing relief and therapeutic value to residents in 19 states and the District of Columbia, so why not Florida?

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A medical marijuana group says it has cleared its first major hurdle to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot: Collecting enough voter signatures to trigger Florida Supreme Court review of the initiative's language.

Since July, People United for Medical Marijuana collected at least 110,000 signatures -- well in excess of the 68,314 needed to start the review, said the group's treasurer and director, Ben Pollara.

Wikipedia Commons

A patient, we’ll call him John, called my office several years ago, frantic over the behavior of his son Aaron. “My son thinks there are helicopters circling our home, following his movements,” he said.

At my office the next day, dad was frantic. Aaron, who appeared disheveled and preoccupied, presented his experiences in a matter-of-fact style. He was certain some authority had singled him out to be placed under surveillance. He had no insight into the psychotic nature of his thinking.

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  National opinion surveys are showing increasing support for medical uses of marijuana. Patients are puffing away legally in 18 states and the climate for medicinal pot has even become more welcoming in Florida.

Is Florida about to become State No. 19?

The question arose during the WLRN/Miami Herald Town Hall before the legislative session began. The questioner was Juan Palenzuela of Hollywood:

Join us for an hour of conversation about the week's news on The Florida Roundup, live at noon today on 91.3FM WLRN:

What's Snuffing Out Medical Weed In Florida?

Apr 3, 2013
Rick Stone

    

A medical marijuana bill sponsored by two South Florida Democrats has reached the end of the line in Tallahassee.

Photo provided

My dedication to legalizing medical marijuana results from personal experience. My daughter has epilepsy, and although she was always compliant with her medication, she continued to have occasional seizures. When she moved to California for her job, and had yet another seizure, she met with a neurologist, who recommended that she join a medical marijuana dispensary. That was in 2000. She has not had another seizure since.

But she cannot come home to visit us in Florida. Because of our marijuana laws, she cannot legally maintain her doctor-recommended medical regimen.

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