BREAKING: Florida Gets Medical Marijuana Bill

3/9/2011 11:29AM UPDATE 6:11PM- A Florida House Representative has formally introduced a medical cannabis bill this week. Advocates and the sponsor are planning a press conference for 10:00AM local time tomorrow on the 4th floor of the Capitol Building in Tallahassee.

The Tampa Bay Times/Herald reported today:

Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, has filed a joint resolution that if passed would let voters in 2012 weigh in on a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

The law would allow the use of medical marijuana if it’s recommended by physicians for patients with “debilitating medical conditions.” The proposal also allows the Legislature to set a maximum quantity of marijuana that can be owned for medical use, but that amount could be exceeded if a patient or doctor says greater amounts are necessary. Read full

Recent polling by the Florida Republicans indicates a groundswell of public support for the issue:  57% of Floridians reported that they want to legalize medical marijuana,

Robert Platshorn at NORMLCON 2010 – photo by NORML/David Sygall

The extra momentum for the new legislation came from an interesting place; two senior activists.

Robert Platshorn,  also known as Bobby Tuna, spent 30 years in federal prison for smuggling marijuana in the 1970’s. Now’s he’s giving talks about the benefits of medical cannabis as part of the NORML/High Times Silver Tour to educate seniors.

Bobby has been joining Irvin Rosenfeld, one of the four surviving federal medical marijuana patients, for special presentations to local  political clubs.

NORML South Florida attended local legislative meetings in January with Rep. Clemens in attendance.

After Bobby spoke in front of the Palm Beach County delegation Clemens requested more information and quickly introduced the resolution.

Look for an exclusive interview with Robert Platshorn on later today!

More information: People United For Medical Marijuana

Video below of Irv Rosenfeld testifying for medical marijuana in Michigan

Advocates Battle Clock for New York Marijuana Bill

6/23/2011 – Guest blog by Rob Robinson and Jen Rog – New York has had a good week when it comes to drug policy reform. A 911 Good Samaritan Law passed easily in the Assembly, where we have gotten some results. Working directly with NY state senators, the Drug Policy Alliance and New York Cannabis Alliance influenced the Senate version of the bill, which passed this Monday June 20th. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign it into law. The phone calls, emails and communications that came through to the Senate when we asked for them really moved this bill forward. The public support also insured we got a strong law and not a watered-down version.

Let’s keep up the momentum before the legislative session ends, which will be anyday now. By calling the Speaker of the Assembly and asking him to schedule bill A. 7620 to a floor vote, we will be asking them to add this important job to their workload before they break for the summer. If passed, this bill will accomplish what legislators originally intended when they decriminalized marijuana in 1977: keeping people out of the criminal justice system for posessing small amounts of marijuana. It will also ingnite our support to bring the fight to the NY Senate and pass the bill there next session.

Please call Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office at 518-455-3791 and ask him to schedule bill A. 7620 for a floor vote before the session ends. Getting it passed this session will make it more likely it will gain movement in the Senate next session. New York residents:  Please contact your Assembly member and ask them to support this bill and for them to pressure leadership (Speaker Silver) to put it up for a vote.

The NYPD has made Cannabis arrests their top enforcement priority. In 2010 alone, 50,383 people were arrested for low-level marijuana offenses—more than the total number marijuana possession arrests between 1978–1997 combined! More than 80% of those arrested are black and Latino, even though studies consistently show that blacks and Latinos are no more likely to use or sell drugs than whites. This new bi-partisan law will close the “public display” loophole and protect New Yorkers from marijuana arrest while saving the state roughly $75 million a year.

It has been a good week in NY for drug law reform. It could get even better – Join us in the struggle!

Guest blog by Rob Robinson and Jen Rog at the NY Cannabis Alliance

10 Fast and Freewheeling Weed Quotes

Quotes are kinda like quick and easy snack food for the brain. Here’s some mental potato chips for your mind munching, thanks to the good folks at Baked Life.

1. “Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.”- William F. Buckley Jr.

2. “Forty million Americans smoked marijuana; the only ones who didn’t like it were Judge Ginsberg, Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton.” – Jay Leno

3. “I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast” – Ronald Reagan

4. “The drug is really quite a remarkably safe one for humans, although it is really quite a dangerous one for mice and they should not use it.” – J.W.D Henderson Director of the Bureau of Human Drugs, Health and Welfare, Canada

5. “Casual drug users should be taken out and shot.” – Darryl Gates Head of Los Angeles Police Department, United States Senate Judiciary Committee

6. “When I was in England, I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and never tried it again.” –Bill Clinton

7. “When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” – Barack Obama

8. “Now, like, I’m President. It would be pretty hard for some drug guy to come into the White House and start offering it up, you know? I bet if they did, I hope I would say, ‘Hey, get lost. We don’t want any of that.” – George W. Bush

9. “I think pot should be legal. I don’t smoke it, but I like the smell of it.” – Andy Warhol

10. “I used to smoke marijuana. But I’ll tell you something: I would only smoke it in the late evening. Oh, occasionally the early evening, but usually the late evening – or the mid-evening. Just the early evening, midevening and late evening. Occasionally, early afternoon, early midafternoon, or perhaps the late-midafternoon. Oh, sometimes the early-mid-late-early morning. . . . But never at dusk.” – Steve Martin


“I used to do drugs. I still do, but I use to, too.” -Mitch Hedberg

“Some of my finest hours have been spent on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.” – Thomas Jefferson

Editor’s Note – The TJ quote was unattributed – LINK. The following however is fully attributed.

“Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!”
George Washington in a note to his gardener at Mount Vernon (1794), The Writings of George Washington, Volume 33, page 270 (Library of Congress)