The Death of Medical Cannabis Legislation for Amendment 2 and the Birth of the Next Battle
They are digging a grave in Tallahassee today, for the bill that was supposed to be the implementation law for Amendment 2, the constitutional ballot measure to increase access to medical cannabis in the state of Florida.
But if the tombstone said “Here lays an intelligent law, created in the spirit of Amendment 2, for the patients of Florida who desperately needed it”, the grave would be empty or the stone carver should be fired.
What we are burying was not a good bill. It restricted instead of increasing access. It barred pregnant women from gaining access to a medicine that could save a fetus from hyperemesis gravida or other problems of pregnancy that should be the decision between her and her doctor. It also put draconian measures in place that included a “Pattern Board” in place that would scrutinize doctor’s decisions for their patients and put it the hands of the Kangaroo Court division of the Board of Medicine, once again interfering with the sacrosanct relationship between doctor and patient. It would have reduced the number of good, dedicated doctors willing to help. It allowed employers to fire employees for medicating at work, even if that medicine took that person from his or her death bed or sick bed back to work, so they could provide for their families and be tax paying citizens instead of sick welfare recipients. Even if an emergency dose could stop PTSD victim’s severe anxiety attacks that could have disastrous results or stop an epilepsy attack, your employer could fire you and you would have no legal recourse to sue or get your job back.
It was a bad bill, and Pinellas Sen. Jeff Brandes told me that it was, “Better to have no bill than a bad bill” for the people he serves.
And he was right.
Sure, the process started with hundreds of people – patients, caregivers, doctors and academics- coming to public forums to air their concerns and recommendations and months of hard work by advocates, lobbyists, citizens speaking out, and local and state elected officials and their extremely hard working staffs to get to what we just buried. I put in 100s of hours of driving over thousands of miles to personally talk truth to the people and to power and forward this just cause.
But it’s not all bad. We educated a lot of people. (Even the budget removed the word marijuana in place of the word cannabis). Mel Sembler didn’t get the $500K he requested for Drug Free Florida to continue the Reefer Madness campaign, with Pot Shops on every corner and unemployed dirty stoners wrecking our clean white beaches.(I still don’t know what they have against Pottery Barn). He also didn’t get a piece of the $10 Million the House bill set aside for the education campaign(in order to educate, to have to have accurate information. Otherwise, you are spreading Alternate Facts, which we all know are lies. He doesn’t get a penny of rebates for the millions he spent to defeat Amendment 2.
You lose again, Mel. Hopefully the memory of Straight inc will fade away with you one day.
But we still have the Amendment that 71 % of the voting population approved, and it is still in force. The incompetent and understaffed Office of Compassionate Use is still in charge and have until June to put out their version of the rules, and people are still able to get on the registry and get the medicine they need.
Now it is their turn to do this right. But it is also our turn to help them and help our fellow Floridians by spreading the word of what medical cannabis can do, to help fight debilitating diseases (Not “DisAbilitating”, Rep. Rodrigues. Weren’t you listening when you were corrected?) and increase the wellness of Floridians of every age, including helping to decrease the opioid use that kills 10 of them each day.
The battle is over. Let’s bury the dead, raise up the living and march to a potentially glorious future.
Florida Medical Marijuana Advocacy Group Claims to Have Damning footage about the
Dark Forces behind the No On 2 Campaign
Floridians for Cannabis is releasing, what they claim to be as damning footage about the organizations, money, and politicians behind the No On 2 campaign. The video is to be released at 10am on their Facebook Page. Be sure to watch the video that Drug-Free America and No On 2 don’t want you to see.
It was November 13th 2014 when Tre’ Evers, General Consultant for the “No on Two” Campaign, wrote his self-congratulatory memorandum to his supporters. Amendment two had lost by just two percent, yet Evers felt the need to gloat, and layout his battle plan. In the memorandum he emphasized staying on message. Regardless of what supporters say in defense of Amendment Two hammer the lies home with the general public. It doesn’t matter whether it is right, or wrong, stick to the message. Evers spoke about the messengers consisting of Florida Sheriffs, who dutifully went out into the public, and spoke of children exposed to pot. Social media such as the Facebook page “Don’t Let Florida go to Pot” posted memes depicting date rape, using marijuana brownies as the means to intoxicate their victims. The media was brought into play as Ever’s identified sympathetic reporters who would act as mouth pieces for the just say no movement. As we move closer to the November election let’s examine where we are today, so we do not repeat the errors and stumbles of 2014.
In 2016 we are seeing a different message from the “No on Two” group. The message is with passage of Amendment Two there will be thousands of dispensaries and cultivation centers post November. That will not be the case. With passage of Amendment Two the present Compassionate Use program will be expanded to include those parts from the amendment not in the current program. The Office of Compassionate Use follows Florida law. There will be a bill put forth in the first legislative cycle to implement amendment two. We can expect the present growers, who have invested millions, to fight to keep the market contained and vertical. Expansion of the present program will be a fight in the courts. At the most we may see up to 30 or 40 additional growers. The ideal situation would be to decouple the vertical, so entrepreneurs’ and advocates can be involved.
The Florida Sheriff’s Association has been exceptionally quiet to date. For one reason we are in an election season, and the FSA leadership has changed. We do not see Florida Sheriffs in the press, speaking at churches and schools, and holding public court with the media speaking to reefer madness and cannabis date rape. If they do turn up in the following months we must lean on them heavily, and draw attention to their untruths. Vote them out!
Facebook’s “Don’t Let Florida go to Pot” is not interested in the science behind marijuana, and why we advocate. Mel Sembler said “Marijuana isn’t medicine!” However, some of their readers may be interested in reading our responses. Post respectful responses, using science and fact, to refute their statements. Flood the page with responses, and links to scientific articles on PubMed, Google Scholar, clinicaltrails.org, pharmaceutical information pages, and other reference sites. Do not get into fights with trolls. Post, let it go, and move on to attack the next lie.
The money we witnessed flowing from casino owner Sheldon Adelson has been absent to date. In Adelson’s home state of Nevada cannabis is also on the ballot. Adelson is battling cannabis locally, and after pulling out of Florida, with regard to seeking a billion dollar casino, he may not be interested in opening another money draining battle. Adelson is commenting he will donate upwards of $100 million towards Trumps political campaign against Hillary Clinton. Prohibitionist Mel Sembler raised over $100 million for Jeb Bush, who sits on the Board of Directors for his anti-cannabis group. Jeb Bush expended over $70 million before pulling out of the race. What a waste of donor dollars! Those same donors who contributed to Sembler may not be so eager to contribute thousands, or millions, to yet another anti-marijuana campaign. Reefer madness commercials? Jamestown Associates who developed 2014’s slick reefer madness commercials are busy with the presidential election. Do they even have the resources to fight Amendment Two when receiving millions to attack both Trump and Clinton?
Out biggest weapon going forward is the truth. We are right in our convictions and beliefs. Science backs us up. Almost $1 billion Wall Street dollars is invested in pharmaceutical companies like Nemus BioScience, One World Cannabis, Kannalife, Insys Therapuetics, GW Pharmaceuticals, and many more pharmaceutical companies rushing forward to patent medicines developed using the 111 cannabinoids, identified to date, and test those cannabinoids against a host of ailments. Currently, we have liquid THC drops for lowering the ocular pressure in all four chambers of the eye, the cannabinoid CBD for epilepsy, THCV for appetite suppression, and CBG for skin rashes. I have listed just a few of the cannabinoids in clinical testing. In the future I fully expect to see other cannabinoids being clinically tested, and patents issued to pharmaceutical companies. Cannabis is medicine even if Mel Sembler says it is not.
In conclusion, we can expect to see a responsible, hard fought, cannabis compassionate use program within Florida. It will not be easy. Expect to see the prohibitionists to stay on message repeating the lies. Then post a successful Amendment Two the growers will lobby law makers to contain the program. Corporate forces will maneuver for control, while advocates fight for home grow. We must utilize independent law makers like Clemens, Ballard, and others identified by Florida CAN who can champion our cause. Identify law makers similar to Representative Matt Gaetz, and Senator Rob Bradley, who do NOT deserve our vote or support. As long as we advocates stay on message, use science and facts, maintain our composure, and vote, we will win this November.
Then maybe Mel Sembler will be nothing more than a line or two in history books identified as being on the wrong side of medical marijuana.
Get Ready Florida, The Largest Cannabis Expo Will Be Here in a Few Days
The same organization behind the largest cannabis business conference & Expo in the world is holding a spring event set for May 9th to the 11th in Orlando Florida at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center.. The event will bring together more than 3,000 industry leaders experts and investors.
This must attend conference will include presentations from Chuck Underwood, of PBS Ministries “America’s Generations”,Celebrity Attorney John Morgan, The Man Behind the 2014 failed push for amendment 2 and the current chair of united for care.
Once fully established, Florida will be one of the largest markets in the country. Interest in the business opportunities here is very large And will not only add to the diversity of our local economy but will also be a much needed boost, creating thousands of job in the cannabis sector for floridians.
May 9th to the 11th
Orlando Florida at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
How much are the tickets?
$400 to $800
use promo code : ThanksFloridaCann50 for $50 off
Get your tickets here: mjbizconference.com
Who should go?
Entrepreneurs who want to network with industry leaders and anyone who wants to cash in on the fastest growing sector of the US economy.
By Bill Monroe, Founder of Florida for Medicinal Marijuana