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On medical marijuana, FL Republican leaders out of touch with their own rhetoric -- and GOP voters

@MarcACaputo

Time and again, Florida’s Republican leaders have bashed Big Government, especially if it intrudes upon the doctor-patient relationship.

When it comes to Obamacare, that is.

But when it comes to medical marijuana, so far they’ve been all Big Government all the way.

The opposition to physicians recommending prescription cannabis isn’t just an example of political inconsistency in Tallahassee. It’s a sign that — unlike their opposition to Obamacare — GOP leaders are greatly out of step with voters, including rank-and-file Republicans.

As many as 70 percent of registered Florida Republicans said they favor medical marijuana, according to the most recent Quinnipiac University poll conducted in late November. Support was even higher among Democrats (87 percent) and independents (88 percent).

The divide between the politicians and voters is increasingly troubling to some Republicans.

“I don’t want the Republican Party to be called the anti-civil liberties party,” said Rick Wilson, a Tallahassee political consultant.

“Simply as a political hack,” he said with a touch of self-deprecating humor, “I don’t want our party to marginalize itself.”

Full column here

Comments

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ed jenkins

The readers are growing tired of this false drug dealer propaganda as they know that the citizens of Florida would be horrified by dangerous illegal drugs entering their state where they can be pushed on innocent children. The readers request that these harmful and nonsensical articles no longer be published. The citizens have been happy to greatly reduce damaging tobacco use and the last thing they want in their state is a more harmful and addictive illegal drug to offset these public health gains.

Pat Kelley

I am a reader and a citizen of Florida that agrees with Mr. Caputo's article. I think these laws, that put thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens in prison, to be completely senseless.

David Bodway

Ed Jenkins you are a hateful idiot with no proof or basis for your statements.
You keep spamming every medical marijuana article on this website.
Either your paid by the opposition by your erratic posting of the same bs, or your someone who makes money by keeping it illegal in the state of Florida, and can't deal with swaying public opinion !

Nick J

Marijuana is NOT a dangerous drug and it's time to legalize it -- Ed Jenkins represents a dying mindset that's on it's way out, it's time to allow patients the right to use marijuana if it helps them. Period.

Jeremy Fetzer

I agree totally. The GOP leadership have found themselves on the wrong side of this issue and voters. As a registered Republican and supporter of legalizing medical marijuana and even recreational marijuana it is sad to see elected officials bash something that the facts just don't support their stance. Medical marijuana will not only help those in need but the tax implications are going to be a huge net for the state. Wake up GOP because if you don't this state is going to turn dark blue quickly.

Dd

Crime rates will go up if it is legalized home invasions will sky rocket

D

Ed is right we don't want to turn our state into a state full of lazy drug addicts endangering the rest of us with their actions. Thank you ed for speaking up for the silent majority who knows these are attempts to gradually get more of these illegal drugs into our society.

Randall McMurphy

Ed Jenkins must be hanging with Trey Radel a bit too much.

knowa

As the generation most scared and damage leave the scene. True science will prevail. Tallahassee must realize the demographics have changed.

Cliff

Follow the money. Who profits from the status quo?

"One thing the American government has not done is to prosecute the largest banks in the world for supporting the drug cartels by washing billions of dollars of their blood stained money. As Narco sphere journalist Bill Conroy has observed banks are ”where the money is” in the global drug war.

HSBC, Western Union, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase&Co, Citigroup, Wachovia amongst many others have allegedly failed to comply with American anti-money laundering (AML) laws."

http://www.globalresearch.ca/money-laundering-and-the-drug-trade-the-role-of-the-banks/5334205

SSgt Thomas

If someone has any proof the marijuana is harmful to adults 21 and up, post your scientific research. Don't be scared, post it. Bet it doesn't exist. ;-) Posted by a Republican wounded warrior.

SSgt Thomas

And as far as the aspect of our current governor, I'm going to have to side with Democrats this year. As hard as it is to say, they make more common sense in matters of The People and actually answer the hard hitting questions instead of what "Dick around" Scott does by sounding like a moron with his constant get a job. What did he do, rip of the South Park rednecks? I can see how his interviews go, "Gov. Scott, your pants are down.","Get a job!". Maybe if someone else was running for the Republicans, I'd vote for them. But this Double-D is as dumb as they come. Just glad the polls show him lacking in approval. As a current Air Force DoD employee with titanium in my right leg, I can tell you he's the worst we have had that isn't for the people I put my ass on the line for. We often joke about politicians being our human shields but I think friendly fire would be more of a risk for me than an IED. I would go on about Ms. Bondi, but I have respect for women, even if her views put her in the Dark Ages and puts her up there with Scott. Hopefully people like Leroy Jenkins and his little enema D(must stand for Douche, how ironic!) up there can support more then 10 documented facts(with links of clinical proof) to back their precious little fingertips up about why adults will become addicted, crime-filled sadist. Otherwise disregard what fools like them say. Colorado hasn't changed, Washington state hasn't changed and everyones happy, should know since two of my basic training buddies live there in the thick of it. So people stand up, unite and have a blessed day being free to spread your truthful claims like a real American.

DMiller

Marijuana is already all over this state of Fla. as well as in every state in the union. It is not going away. The people that I helped elect to our government are NOT in the medical field...nor is our Governor. Makes me wonder how many of these people are getting kickbacks from black market sales of marijuana. Tax it........take the revenue.......and offset state medical costs.......Or pay off our state debts.......

knowa

Cant believe I voted for him. What gets me is the level of ignorance of Cannabis history

these people have. They need to do there home work. Starting with Napoleon and the battle of

waterloo to prevent Russian Marijuana/Hemp from the British Navy and merchants ships even

the burning of the white house by the British was in retaliation for American burning

Marijuana/Hemp Fields in Ontario. The cost of a marijuana/Hemp covered wagon was about $40

for the wagon and $400 for the Marijuana canvas it was that precious. The cost of wooden

ships was a fraction of the cost of the marijuana ropes and sails. Even the word canvas came

from the word cannabis. Marijuana/Hemp canvas and cordage was the energy of the past

harnessing the wind around the world. These people need to do their home starting with Jack

Herer the Emperor wears no clothes,Videos Rick Simpson Run from the Cure, The Union, should

Grand Mom Smoke Pot. study Canadian Cannabis activist Marc and Jodie Emery, Marc is still

serving a five year sentence for giving money to legalization groups. Marc gave $15,000 for

medical marijuana in the beginning for Colorado. First off our Government has lied and have

criminally colluded to block true science they are not honest brokers if you want real

science on cannabis go to Israel.

knowa

I think its is time for a congressional investigation into a history of blocking legitimate research. When consider the La Guardia Committee and Nixon's own commissioned Shaffer report both with scientific evidence that Nixon refused and trashed in his vendetta against the counter culture CNN
On August 14, 1970, the Assistant Secretary of Health, Dr. Roger O. Egeberg wrote a letter recommending the plant, marijuana, be classified as a schedule 1 substance, and it has remained that way for nearly 45 years. My research started with a careful reading of that decades old letter. What I found was unsettling. Egeberg had carefully chosen his words:
"Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marijuana be retained within schedule 1 at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue."
Not because of sound science, but because of its absence, marijuana was classified as a schedule 1 substance. Again, the year was 1970. Egeberg mentions studies that are underway, but many were never completed. As my investigation continued, however, I realized Egeberg did in fact have important research already available to him, some of it from more than 25 years earlier

knowa

I have great news:

I believe we have collected the petitions we need to get on the ballot. Over 1.1 million in all.

This could not have happened without the amazing generosity of our thousands of donors - and in particular, our Chairman, John Morgan, who donated millions to this endeavor.

Literally thousands of volunteers contributed their time, collecting petitions in the rain and heat, on their weekends and holidays.

This is an enormous achievement - but even though we still await the ruling of the state Supreme Court, we need to get right back to work. We must shift this now into campaign mode - and help educate the millions of Florida voters who will hopefully be allowed to have a choice in November.

Michael Green

I can see quite a few benefits to medical use, decriminalization, even
complete legalization:

1. Ability to regulate it - this would even allow it to better keep it
from minors. Illegal drug dealers do not care what the age of the
buyer is, whereas a legal business would have to comply. This would also reduce opportunity for illegal dealers to "lace" the drug with more dangerous substances.

2. Segregate marijuana from the culture of more dangerous substances,
such as crack, meth, bath salts and Krokodil.

3. Ability to tax the sale of the substance. Instead of paying to
fight it, detect it, prosecute, jail, supervise in probationary
periods, testing, public defense, prosecution, etc., there would be
some revenue instead of huge costs.

4. What is this notion commentators say "they just want to get high?" - The
substance may be used by stoners to drop out, but there are plenty of
drop outs that are not users. Certainly, there are a great deal of
creative types - artists, writers, even many professionals that use
this as a calming tool and one that actually stimulates creative
processes. And so what? I watch modern sporting events and Bud Light
seems to own the day, afterwards these people fight, riot, turn over
cars and all kinds of very "positive" societal impacts. Leave the
marijuana alone - there are perhaps substances that we should keep
outlawed forever, just not this one.

5. Growing a legal drug might help employ more of our youth and
inspire them to grow more crops, such as vegetables and other crops
locally, organically, etc. - You must also consider that Washington
grew hemp, a fantastic fiber providing 100s of legitimate uses. It is
a weed and is quite worthy of being used as a renewable resource.

6. We have to consider that much of the opposition from this comes
from churches who seem to squelch creative thought.

7. We also must weigh in that heavy opposition comes from the alcoholic
beverage industry (bars and nightclubs do not sell as much liquor to
those who smoke) as well as the pharmaceutical industry who likes to
make exorbitant amounts from patented meds that are often less
effective than marijuana.

8. Those who smoke marijuana often live the most sustainable
lifestyles - For example, those in the tropics indicate that they are
very comfortable in hotter weather than those who have not smoked.

9. Look at all that the U.S. government has spewed out that is patently false
about the drug - start with "Reefer Madness" and work your way through
the propaganda trail since. Government is funded by lobbyists from the alcoholic
beverage and pharmaceutical industries (both would lose big if legal) and money from other special interests - even the legal-criminal-prison complex that makes lots of money with this product remaining illegal. Thus there is a lot of brainwashing and other misinformation fueling some of the opponents to such measures.

10. Criminalizing hasn't worked - it has primarily been a way to
discriminate against blacks - the white college kids don't get busted
and prosecuted to the same degree the young blacks do. While I am no fan of Obama, he has correctly mentioned this discrepancy.

11. Security issues. If we have to purchase in a back alley we might
get robbed or worse. Going to grocery, drug store or another licensed
retailer will be much safer.

12. Potential lacing or adulteration. The risk of a drug such as
marijuana being laced with PCP, meth, poison, etc. is a real worry.
Legalization should eliminate such risks.

13. Stereotyping. Our society has learned stereotypes along the
lines of Cheech and Chong and other partiers who seem simple and lack
productive lives. This is far from the truth for many users. But why
would a doctor, accountant or schoolteacher admit to using an illegal
substance such as marijuana and be stigmatized for the crime? Thus we
are left with partying college kids and dropouts who do not have as
much to lose to serve as a poor representative for those in favor of
legalization, further underscoring the false stereotype.

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