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Lawmakers Look at Limiting Marijuana Highs

March 29, 2019 - 7:45am

Florida patients can now smoke medical marijuana, but some Republican legislative leaders want to put a limit on how high they can get when lighting up.

The House is considering a proposal that would cap THC levels in medical marijuana at 10 percent, Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, said in an interview with The News Service of Florida.

No bill has been filed, and Rodrigues, who’s shepherded medical-marijuana legislation in the House since low-THC cannabis was first authorized in 2014, said legislation is still “up in the air.”

Five Questions for Kathleen Passidomo

March 26, 2019 - 7:15am
Kathleen Passidomo

Sen. Kathleen Passidomo started off the 2019 legislative session by giving each of her Senate colleagues a copy of “A Land Remembered,” Patrick Smith’s intergenerational novel that’s also a cautionary tale about the Sunshine State’s history.

And the Naples Republican will finish out the session with another treat for her legislative pals: an Italian feast that’s become a much-loved annual tradition when tensions are at their highest and fuses at their shortest.

Weekly Roundup: Fired up about Medical Weed

March 23, 2019 - 9:00am
Doug Dixon
Clad in a flannel shirt, jeans and a Florida State University baseball cap, Doug Dixon might easily blend into the crowd almost anywhere in Tallahassee.
 
But the 59-year-old construction worker wound up at the center of a media frenzy this week, just for taking his medicine.
 
The soft-spoken Crawfordville man on Thursday became the first Floridian to legally purchase whole-flower cannabis, three days after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure that did away with the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana.
 

House Felons' Rights Plan Spurs Questions

March 19, 2019 - 9:00am
Jamie Grant
Hookers who’ve been convicted of prostitution three times, cyberstalkers and inmates who expose themselves to prison workers wouldn’t be eligible to have their voting rights automatically restored, under a House proposal aimed at carrying out a constitutional amendment approved in November.
 

Backroom Briefing: Gillum Plays the Tease

March 15, 2019 - 9:00am
Andrew Gillum
Andrew Gillum is toying with us.
 
The Tallahassee Democrat, who narrowly lost a bid for governor to Republican Ron DeSantis in November, has started to tease supporters and critics with a slick “save the date” video.
 
The promo features chants of Gillum’s “Bring It Home” campaign slogan in the background, alongside tidbits from the trail.
 

Smokable Medical Marijuana Gets Legislative Green Light

March 14, 2019 - 9:00am

In their first full action of the 2019 legislative session, Florida lawmakers --- many of them grudgingly --- ceded to a demand by Gov. Ron DeSantis and overwhelmingly approved a proposal doing away with the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana.

DeSantis issued an ultimatum to the Legislature shortly after the Republican governor took office in January, threatening to drop the state’s appeal of a court decision that found the smoking ban ran afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

With DeSantis Urging Cooperation with ICE, Florida Sheriffs Are Looking at Options

March 12, 2019 - 8:15am
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing more Florida sheriffs to cooperate with the federal government to keep potentially deportable criminals behind bars until they’re handed off to immigration agents.

Following the governor’s lead, the state Senate is moving forward with a proposal that would require state and local law-enforcement agencies to “use best efforts to support the enforcement of federal immigration law.”

House, Senate Near Repeal of Pot Smoking Ban

March 7, 2019 - 9:15am
Ron DeSantis wants action by March 15

With plenty of breathing room before a March 15 deadline set by Gov. Ron DeSantis, House and Senate leaders have neared completion of a measure that would do away with a state ban on smoking medical marijuana.

Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Ray Rodrigues confirmed Wednesday they’ve reached an accord on a proposal that would allow patients to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for smoking every 35 days, ban smoking of medical marijuana in public places and allow terminally ill children to smoke the treatment, but only if they have a second opinion from a pediatrician.

Weekly Roundup: Damage Control before Day One

March 2, 2019 - 7:15am
Jose Oliva

The 2019 legislative session hasn’t even begun, but the mea culpas are already rolling in.

House Speaker José Oliva sparked a firestorm in a discussion with South Florida TV journalist Jim DeFede that went viral Thursday.

Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, repeatedly referred to pregnant women as “host bodies” when asked about the perennially controversial topic of abortion.

The conservative lawmaker is a fierce small-government proponent who believes people should be able to make their own decisions, he told DeFede, a veteran Miami reporter who works for the station CBS4.

DeSantis Pins Blame on Sheriff for Shootings

March 1, 2019 - 9:30am
Former Broward Sheriff Scott Israel

Gov. Ron DeSantis is accusing suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel of being responsible for the deaths of 17 students and faculty members at a Parkland high school and five other victims of a mass shooting at an airport, according to documents filed this week with the Florida Senate.

The allegations against Israel, whose suspension was one of DeSantis’ first actions after the Republican governor took office in January, were included in what is known as a “bill of particulars” as Israel tries to get his job back.

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