marijuana decriminalization

Taimy Alvarez / South Florida Sun Sentinel

After more than five years, Boca Raton decided to join the growing number of South Florida communities that allow medical marijuana dispensaries.

Boca had banned the dispensaries in 2014. In a 3-2 vote Tuesday night, the City Council approved repealing the ban and allowing the businesses within the city. Companies can start applying for permits immediately.

Councilman Andy Thomson introduced the bill. He, Councilwoman Monica Mayotte and Mayor Scott Singer voted in favor, while Councilwoman Andrew Levine O’Rourke and Councilman Jeremy Rodgers were opposed.

EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD

A marijuana lobbyist became the only statewide Democrat sworn into office. Smoking medical marijuana became legal in Florida. A new hemp program gave farmers statewide the optimism for a new cash crop. On the whole, 2019 proved to be a monumental year for cannabis in the state.

In February, The state hired its first “cannabis czar,” in August the Miami-Dade State Attorney announced it will no longer prosecute minor marijuana cases and in October, two associates of Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani’s sought pot licenses in the state.

DAVID ZALUBOWSKI / AP

It’s been less than four years since Florida voters gave medical marijuana a green light but the plant could wind up on the ballot again next year.

There are three efforts hoping to ask voters to okay recreational pot use. The second Florida petition for recreational marijuana has gathered enough signatures to merit a review by the Florida Supreme Court. The "Make It Legal Florida" petition would allow Florida adults to possess and use marijuana.

David Zalubowski / AP

A new petition drive to legalize recreational marijuana has gathered 100,000 signatures in its first 20 days, giving supporters high hopes that Florida could be on its way to joining other states in ending the prohibition of cannabis.

The goal is to put the legalization question before Florida voters in next year’s election, said Nick Hansen, chairman of Make It Legal Florida, the group circulating the petition.

Split Court Refuses To Revisit Major Pot Case

Aug 27, 2019

A split appeals court on Tuesday refused to grant the state’s request to revisit a decision that could revolutionize the way medical marijuana operators do business in Florida.

Instead, the 1st District Court of Appeal asked the Florida Supreme Court to decide whether the state’s “vertical integration” system of requiring licensed operators to grow, process and distribute cannabis and derivative products runs afoul of a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in Florida.

Last week, the U.S. Attorney for Florida’s Northern District said he’s willing to step in and prosecute marijuana offenses that the state attorney will not. On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Larry Keefe offered more specifics.

C.M. GUERRERO / MIAMI HERALD

In a significant policy change spurred by new Florida law, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office announced it will no longer prosecute minor marijuana cases. And for amounts large enough for felony charges, police will now be required to get lab tests to confirm that marijuana is, well, actually marijuana.

Wikimedia Commons

Efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida got a big boost this week from Orlando attorney John Morgan. He's credited with helping to legalize medical marijuana by advocating for Amendment 2 in 2016. 

Morgan backs the inclusion of a question about the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state's 2020 ballot. The proposed initiative would require nearly 800,000 signatures of registered voters and a review by Florida's Supreme Court to make it to the voters. The proposed amendment would require 60 percent of  approval to become law.

Normally, a chief financial officer's job involves poring over balance sheets and bank statements. But in the pot business, the job still bears a lot of similarities to the illicit trade — transporting loads of cash under the watchful eye of big guys carrying lots of guns.

Just ask Tom DiGiovanni.

This chief financial officer and former Ernst & Young accountant leans into an unmarked armored van where there's a metal cage to protect the revenues for his company, Canndescent, from would-be thieves.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of half a dozen Democratic senators running for the White House, is reintroducing a bill on Thursday that would fundamentally end the federal government's prohibition on marijuana.

Starting Wednesday, the sale of recreational marijuana begins in Canada following a law passed over the summer.

The law says anyone in Canada over the age of 18 is allowed to possess marijuana, provided it's less than 30 grams — just over an ounce. Canadians can also grow up to four marijuana plants in their home and buy from a provincially regulated retailer.

The Sarasota County Commission has rejected a preemptive ban on recreational marijuana because of an error found in the ordinance.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET.

President Trump is signaling he's willing to support a move toward the legalization of marijuana, which would be a departure from the position of his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

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Even three queasy pregnancies didn't prepare Kate Murphy for the nonstop nausea that often comes with chemotherapy.

Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana Deal

Jun 11, 2017

Florida will have 10 additional marijuana operators — more than double the number of the state's current vendors — within four months, under a medical marijuana proposal approved by lawmakers Friday.

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