Time for Florida To Talk About Marijuana Laws
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Time for Florida To Talk About Marijuana Laws
Posted by CN Staff on May 15, 2010 at 11:48:18 PT
News Story
Source: Polk County Democrat
Florida -- If there were a way for Florida to save tens of millions of dollars annually, would you want to know about it? If more than a dozen other states were already enjoying these cost savings and a more than a dozen more were exploring ways to join them, would you want to know what Florida is doing?If Florida, in fact, were doing the exact opposite of more than half the states in the country, would you want to know why? We’re guessing you answered yes to all of the above questions, but we admit they were framed in a way that it would be hard to say no.
If you knew the questions involved marijuana laws, we suspect your answers might change. That’s understandable. Marijuana is illegal.Many believe it is a dangerous “gateway” drug that leads its users to use even more dangerous drugs and to commit crimes to support their drug use.We’re not convinced past policy toward marijuana use has been effective. Florida and its counties are spending far too much money enforcing existing laws and incarcerating offenders.At a time when state and county resources are scarce, Florida should join other states in exploring its marijuana laws.Decades of marijuana law reform across the country and stacks of studies examining the impact of those reforms provide ample evidence on which a reasoned, rational policy could be crafted.Almost all the studies show relaxing marijuana laws does not lead to increased use among any age group, a common red herring argument against decriminalization.Since 1996, 14 states have made marijuana legal for medical purposes.Fourteen other states are looking at changing their marijuana laws. Those changes range from allowing medical marijuana to decriminalization to “deprioritizing” marijuana enforcement.The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that several states are considering measures that would both legalize and tax marijuana.In Florida, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1,000 and up to one year in prison, although first-time offenders rarely serve jail time and most cases are diverted to drug courts.Still, one of five inmates in Florida prisons are serving sentences for drug offenses. The number of inmates in Florida prisons rose 22.4 percent over the last five years from 84,901 in June 2005 to 103,915 in January 2009, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. The cost of building and operating those prisons surpassed $2.4 billion in 2008-09, a 26-percent increase since 2004-05.A study presented to the Rhode Island Legislature last month found the nation’s smallest state would save $12.7 million a year by decriminalizing marijuana possession. Rhode Island, which already legalized medical marijuana, had a total prison population as of Jan. 1, 2010 of 3,674, more than 100,000 fewer than Florida.The opportunity for substantial recurring savings is obvious.A Florida group called People United for Medical Marijuana has launched a constitutional amendment petition drive that would put the question of legalizing medical marijuana on the ballot. It fell far short of the number of signatures needed to qualify for the Nov. 2010 ballot, but it’s a good way to start the conversation.At a time when Florida is embracing casinos and expanded gambling at racetracks, it makes sense for the state to review its marijuana laws.Source: Polk County Democrat, The (FL)Published: May 15, 2010Copyright: 2010 Polk County DemocratContact: Polkdemo aol.comURL: http://www.polkcountydemocrat.comCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #16 posted by rchandar on June 04, 2010 at 11:06:30 PT:
One More....
You've read the message boards. And you see how states that have been known for tough-on-drugs laws like Tennessee, and Alabama, are officially willing to consider decrim and MMJ laws to protect the sick and reduce law enforcement time.And maybe, we could try to figure out why these states see the point of changing, and Florida doesn't. Florida, the state that notorized Death Row Records. And change for some reason, cannot come here.--rchandar
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Comment #15 posted by rchandar on May 16, 2010 at 18:55:59 PT:
One More...
Picture a day in the dazzling sun, the bodies, the disco music, the glitzy buildings and fast cars and every type of fantasy possible......then, drive a few minutes. And see, how we live. And perhaps, you could remember an older man, or a young hood, or a girl tired of watching TV every day and sick to her stomach of the obsessive games her friends would play....the sad stories of Florida are many. Any kind of awareness of it is painful. There are many, sweet, lovely, ingenuous human beings here that were sacrificed to the War on Drugs. Perhaps they did not pay allegiance to an aggressive college youth who moved into their neighborhood, blood-lusting for power, eager to be an attorney or a cop, certain that their views and ideals were the only right ones. And picture, the blood spilling. Such cruelty. A terrible shame, for a state that promises the limitless type of pleasure.Florida is sick, evil, decadent. And out of touch with democracy. And many people, whom we wanted to be in this world, are not. Because those that thought they knew what was best for everyone, paid no heed and slashed 'em up.Simple, isn't it?You don't get these people back. You can't smile with them, or walk with them, or hear the words they needed to say to us. You killed 'em. And all you do, every day, is promise to kill some more.--rchandar
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Comment #14 posted by rchandar on May 16, 2010 at 17:46:59 PT:
Folks, Give Us a God Damn Break
A lot of people would talk on this board--'cept for being scared out of their minds that someone would come to silence them.$1,000??? 1 YEAR IN PRISON??? FOR WHAT, FOR THIS??? You gotta be kidding. Folks, it's obvious our politicians don't care about us. So if you were to arrest 120,000 pot crack-heads or whatever, you automatically make about $120 million, without actually doing any work--just pop 'em off the street and rob 'em. There are probably lots of these people who CANNOT AFFORD $1,000--no surprise--Floridy's always been awful when it comes to taking care of her citizens and helping them do abnormal things like get a job.Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and North Carolina have less punitive laws. These are not states known for including MJ smokers in the political debate. Come on folks, it's greed, unwillingness to change, to accept that a government must provide community and inclusion for ALL her citizens. A lot of it is racism, too--but there's the $1,000. You can embezzle as much as you want, or just line your pockets and come off as a tough, sexy, lovable macho politician--who kills people.This is old. The law itself was enacted in 1951--long before any of 'dem 'dam Heespanicks were 'round. Florida's government is practically ruled by an ole' boy network in Tal-hass-ee; they see "sin cities" like Mi'hami as filled with dangerous people who need to be struck for the planet if goowed Christin' people 'r gon' 'live raht. But basically, Florida buys into her "1 year, $1,000 fine." Abides by it, champions it--and abuses without exception her er, lesser cit'zens. It projects a machismo that only means people will be hurt and people will die, and 'dat's Gawd's honnus' truth, wus da natur' o' things as they shewd be.Think in terms, too. Florida has lots of 'dro, more than any state other than Californy. But, you could go to jail for a year if I catch you with a schwag joint in your pocket. What does this mean? It means that the dealer is like a god, you have to worship the ground he walks on 'cause he cehd' turn yor ass in, boy! The scenario of desperate, fallen, weakened souls are many--by contrast, whoever's strong, can manage the "system" here, can have all the pleasures of life--for a short time, 'till someone kicks him back to the street.Florida prides herself on being a multicultural state with lots of freedom and lots of engaging, happy, sunny people. But one of the darkest hangs of her society is her law--which isn't multicultural, which isn't happy, and which punishes people uniformly for being suggestible, for having doubts, for not taking control in a society where there is only coercive control.And, they lie to us. Ever read High Times, and notice that all of the hemp paradise colleges are in FLA--FSU, UF, UM? You know, there's a song by John Mellencamp:And there's winners,
And there's losers,
But it ain't no big deal.
'Cause the simple man baby, pays the bills, the frills,
The pills that kill.In the past 10 years, Florida has declined--yes, declined. It was once a burgeoning state attracting people, capital, had low tax and cost-of-living. Building and construction were booming because a lot of people wanted to live here. That's all changed, and the economy has basically gone south--a lot of guys are without work these days. But that hasn't stopped the Tallahassee gang from waging war--on these less-equipped, controversial human beings who merely wanted to feel better, enjoy life, or just reflect a bit. Not at all.--rchandar
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on May 16, 2010 at 09:17:57 PT
Had Enough
When an   is in a url it will break on CNews.
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Comment #12 posted by Had Enough on May 16, 2010 at 07:46:38 PT
Hhmmm...Cyber Gremlins
It appears that when you post that entire link...It cuts off the  N06/4609949349/ part...and will not include it with the rest of the link...
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Comment #11 posted by Had Enough on May 16, 2010 at 07:38:50 PT
South Carolina
The good citizens of South Carolina need to vote Lindsey O. Graham a new unemployment maybe...***Link in #6... N06/4609949349/
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Comment #10 posted by Shielde on May 15, 2010 at 21:38:26 PT
comment #6
" N06/4609949349"add the  N06/4609949349 to the end of the linkI must say isn't it wonderful when politicians say thank you for your concern but i believe you are completely wrong
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Comment #9 posted by Had Enough on May 15, 2010 at 20:42:47 PT
The article...
The article...and/or the Polk County Democrat forgot to add this...People United for Medical Marijuana***RIGHT TO MARIJUANA FOR TREATMENT OF CERTAIN MEDICAL DISEASES AND CONDITIONS. 
Sponsor: People United for Medical MarijuanaValid Petition Signatures
(Signatures less than 4 years old) a long way to go...but...I remember when the total count was zero (0)...Onward and upward...shining the light...through the hazy fog...***Totalrod...comment #6...the link doesn’t work...and a thank you for wishing us luck down here...
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Comment #8 posted by Canis420 on May 15, 2010 at 20:24:17 PT:
Comment 6
I get similar letters from my pols in Florida. Do not let it deter you...we are gaining the upper hand! 
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Comment #7 posted by ekim on May 15, 2010 at 20:19:45 PT
money cant buy you love
we want to save money FL has the op port unity man what a word cannabis has much yet to be discoveredfeel the wound of the gulf and planet warming
the education that natural sun light is of great importance
in growing cannabis and hemp.
i keep recalling Hempaid at the farm now we need a great Hempaid to show all the productsand ponder what willplease allow the plant to grow and help eachother 
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Comment #6 posted by Totalrod2 on May 15, 2010 at 19:05:03 PT
A petition? (LOL!)
I wish them luck with that endeavor. These a55 backwards southern states will never change. I signed a MMJ petition last month. Today they sent me a letter, just to let me know their stance on the issue. N06/4609949349
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Comment #5 posted by herbdoc215 on May 15, 2010 at 15:08:45 PT
What I've been saying for years, and he KNOWS
"He says the drop in pot prices is in part the result of more growers and a more tolerant legal landscape. But he says another factor is quality. Indoor-grown marijuana is increasingly favored by dispensaries and consumers for its looks, consistence and potency. It costs more to produce than pot grown under the sun, but commands as much as double the price. That's one reason retail prices haven't hit the skids."What's happening is the people that don't have quality product aren't selling it," Blake says. "So they're the ones that are creating this panic. So it really comes back down to that, just like in every other agricultural industry. When you get too many vineyards and too many people growing vines out there, then only the good ones make it."
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on May 15, 2010 at 13:57:48 PT
Thank you. Hopefully we will see the prices keep coming down so sick people will be able to afford it.
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Comment #3 posted by firedog on May 15, 2010 at 13:52:52 PT
NPR article
The VPR article you mentioned is also on NPR. It's one of the top stories on the NPR site at the moment.
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Comment #2 posted by keydet46 on May 15, 2010 at 12:44:45 PT:
Polk County Democrat
Very good article. I only have one problem. I lived for 8 Years in Winter Haven Floida, which is in Polk County, and I never heard of the Polk County Democrat!!!!!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 15, 2010 at 12:08:29 PT
Plummeting Calif. Marijuana Prices Create A Panic 
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