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Florida Attorney General ‘Just Says No’ To Medical Marijuana

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director December 21, 2012

    Please find below a recent memo from Florida Attorney General’s office rejecting activist’s petition to reschedule marijuana for medical access. This is notable because Florida is a top five political bellwether state, with an aging population, NORML receives more requests from Florida residents than anywhere else in the country to reform local medical cannabis laws.

    Unfortunately, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office has rejected a petition from the Cannabis Action Network to reschedule cannabis so that sick, dying and sense-threatened medical patients with a doctor’s recommendation can possess and use it legally. As often is the case at the state level, the Attorney General is deferring to federal laws and Congressional intent.

    PAM BONDI
    ATTORNEY GENERAL
    STATE OF FLORIDA
    OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

    Administrative Law Bureau

    Edward A. Tellechea
    Chief Assistant Attorney General
    PL-01, The Capitol
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
    Phone (850) 414-3300
    Fax (850) 922-6425

    December 12, 2012

    Jodi James
    Director, Cannabis Action Network
    Melbourne, FL

    Ms. James:

    Thank you for your petition wherein you request that the Attorney
    General temporarily reschedule cannabis. I have been asked to
    respond on the Attorney General’s behalf.

    Section 893.0355, Florida Statutes, delegates to the Attorney
    General the authority to temporarily reschedule controlled
    substances set forth in Section 893.03(1), Florida Statutes, by rule
    and addresses what factors shall be considered when making such a
    determination. The statute reads in part as follows:

    (3) In making the public interest determination, the Attorney
    General shall give great weight to the scheduling rules adopted by
    the United States Attorney General subsequent to such substances
    being listed in Schedules I, II, III, IV, and V hereof, to achieve
    the original legislative purpose of the Florida Comprehensive Drug
    Abuse Prevention and Control Act of maintaining uniformity between
    the laws of Florida and the laws of the United States with respect
    to controlled substances.

    The above quoted statutory language makes it very clear that when
    determining whether a controlled substance should be rescheduled the
    Attorney General must give great weight to the current drug
    scheduling under federal law. In addition, Florida law also strongly
    encourages uniformity in Florida and federal drug scheduling.

    The Attorney General does not believe that it is in the best
    interest of the public for her to use her authority to temporarily
    reschedule cannabis, particularly given the legislative preference
    for uniformity with federal drug laws and the fact that cannabis
    remains a Schedule I drug under federal law.

    Sincerely,

    Edward A. Tellechea
    Chief Assistant Attorney General

    94 Responses to “Florida Attorney General ‘Just Says No’ To Medical Marijuana”

    1. pat says:

      If the state has made it leagle for cannabis then the sheriff has the power to run all these gov thugs out legally

    2. sfm says:

      Ok America…enough is enough! Sadly, in the New Year, countless peoples will lose their jobs, pay higher taxes, crime JUST TO SURVIVE will become rampant…WE ARE GOING BROKE!! The fiscal Cliff will be a disaster…does Washington care? or the “Elected ” officials in other states care? While people will be hungry, losing their homes, denied healthcare…no..they will be in their stately mansion…enjoying warmth and fine dining while the children are starving in the streets.! Is this America as we are suppose to know it? To all the damn Republicans, Democtrats and other groups/parties out there…get your damn heads out of the sand, stop worrying about whats going on in places we arent needed…take a good hard look at “us”..the American People! Legalize Med.marijuana/rec.marijuana…tax it..and each state use the money to resourceful things. betcha we wont be in a “Financial Crisis” for too long!

    3. Donald says:

      Florida seems to have as many money grubbing redneck politicians as Texas has. NORMAL needs to go after these jack asses real hard. The people in the south don’t want their kids being branded for life with these stupid anti pot laws. A misdemeanor in the south for a small personal use amount can costs upwards of $10,000 for a first offense. Wanna guess the REAL reason they just keep saying “NO ? Texas has two laws on the books. The cops “could” just give a ticket for $100 or they can waste the resources of the legal system to drag a kid with a joint into jail, have to make bond, go to court, get probation, pay $60 a month probation fees, take random urinalysis, be subject to random raids and searches for no reason anytime, anywhere. Tell your employer, have a ruined record forever and only the richy rich people can get removed. Same old good ole’ boys network just like it was in the Klan days…makes one proud to be a part of the thievery and pot smoker prejudice they spew all over the land…

    4. billy says:

      i think sativa should be more researched while driving because it keeps you up and indica mellows you out because all they say is your driving on marijuana is worse then while your sober but i dont think thats 100% true with sativa… mabey indica but i think if thats the case mabey just sativa should be legal for recreational use and and both for medical use mabey that will make the driving problem solved

    5. J says:

      the war on drugs is a threat to National Security as seen in 9/11 when terrorists were armed to the teeth with drug money (and many other attacks before and after). The CSA creates the drug black market, while removing the CSA destroys the drug black market, which proves that the CSA is the drug black market, which proves the law is intened to fund gangs and terrorists (intent proven because FEDs and Cops know that drug money finances gangs and terrorists, but do nothing to stop it or change it, proving it’s done on purpose). It’s illegal to arrest Americans for any drugs because the law protects terrorism in the form of directly funding it with the drug black market. So, it shouldn’t be hard to remove the schedulig of Cannabis because we have physical proof that ‘scheduling’ finances terrorism when said drug is on the black market. Even the DEA, CIA, U.N., War College etc etc admit that terrorists sell drugs, as evident in the U.S. military in Afghanistan and previously in Iraq -since all insurgents and terrorist recieve their funding from drug money.

    6. mark says:

      She must be in bed with her Facist governor.

    7. Mike says:

      I want to slap people who oppose marijuana, but I’m not a dick like that. I wished people would research marijuana to the fullest extent before they talk negative about it.
      As a person with insomnia and no medical card, it is still easy to find marijuana. I would rather pay $5 more for a gram buying it at a licensed store, than buying it from a dealer. I would like to know how and where the marijuana was grown, but that’s not an option every time. I would like to know the THC percentage, but testing costs money.
      I hope I see the day when marijuana is legal in the world.
      Hope is all I have at this point.

    8. Denzidrine says:

      There is a video involving the Chief Administrator of the DEA and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis that everyone should see. – “Michele Leonhart testimony.” She is initially being questioned about the “Fast and furious” program but these people took the opportunity to ask her the hard questions about “pot” (maybe not so hard). Also Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis has one with her and also “FBI director gets schooled on marijuana legalization” These should be watched by anyone who has any interest in legalizing Cannabis, unfortunately it just shows that the people running things are really not very rational.

    9. johnny d says:

      Michelle Leonhart and the DEA…hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha….I want to see her on ”Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader”….can you say puppett?

    10. Trent says:

      Let’s share this with all of our twitter, facebook, myspace, google+ friends and FLOOD our legislators with traffic regarding our desire to be the next state to De-criminalize Marijuana.

    11. Dave Evans says:

      Billy, since marijuana doesn’t stop you from being able to think, you can still drive. Marijuana is not a sedative, neither indica nor sativa. What marijuana does is temporarily reduce your stress. If you stress level is keeping you wired and alert via adrenaline or caffeine, like worrying about something or pain from some injury it is the stress keeping your system up and running when you’re supposed to be resting and recovering. Indica is just better at breaking that stress cycle than is sativa so you can rest. It doesn’t put you to sleep like alcohol or other sedatives.

      Also, since you can still think under marijuana’s effects, you can also realize you’re too tired to drive; whereas when drunk you will often believe you’re perfectly fine to drive. Alcohol kills the ability to realize what condition you are in. Marijuana has no such affect.

    12. Kim King says:

      I just got thrown in jail for a gram of medicinal cannabis . I just moved from Boulder, CO where I lived for 12 years. Its money down here in hillbilly land. A lot of government people would lose their jobs and paychecks down here in dim old states. hat people dont want to lose their jobs. This isnt a war on drugs it a war on evceryones families, period.

    13. v.neill says:

      I am a 61 year old pain patient with good mental abilities. These laws to prohibit the use of substances to help with pain are rediculas. Why does my health care part D allow morphine, but not the pain patch that is non narcotic? Good question. It is like the rest of the policies, it just doesn’t seem right. Tax the substance, lets get this country out of debt and on a better track.

    14. Harleynut says:

      Vote her out. There are many sick people in Florida that Cannabis would improve their quality of life.

    15. John McClane says:

      what everyone needs to do is write editorials and make some noise. medical keeps being voted down in PA, and our legislators act like no one is for it the same as they do in Florida. We have 80% support so get the word out and make them act this year!!!

    16. thomas connatser says:

      This is the attorney general that allowed pill mills to flourish in the state until the death toll hit an amount where the backlash forced her to act. She also allowed Deborah lafay to get house arrest after raping a child. So she odviously outta touch with the way the law is suppose to work so we cannot expect anything she does to make any sense.

    17. Cat Cassie says:

      I feel sorry for the people in Florida. I know there are a lot of retired people that live there. I would imagine they have been brainwashed their whole lives about the so called evils of cannabis. But oh my gosh that Gov you have. I don’t think things will get any better as long as he is in the drivers seat. Vote him out. He is taking the constitution and flushing it down the toilet.

    18. Dave says:

      I have had spine fusion t4-t10 since 1996 due to scheurmanns kyphosis degenerative disk disease I also have ankylosing spondylitis due to instrumentation of Harrington rods for fusion I am currently on major narcotics to treat pain which includes fentanyl in the past I have found that certain strained of cannabis helps my pain control almost as much as these government prescribed narcotics but have been threatened by my doctors that I will loose all my medicines if I continue to use cannabis. I think it’s nuts that my life has to be dictated because of my use of cannabis to treat my conditions.so now I don’t get the relief I need with these pills they keep feeding me. I don’t think the government can truly say that the cannabis I was using is more dangerous for my health than all the narcotics the doctors have prescribed. I think it’s totally bogus that patients like me can’t get the medical benefits that cannabis provides for my pain and that I will loose all medicine because of the use of it. Our government needs to change these outdated laws and start helping patients who can truly benefit more from cannabis than they do from narcotics.

    19. jim says:

      So she’s one of those that has her own agenda; other than what Florida citizens want…Pam Bondi needs to be ousted out of her office and someone that will work for the citizens…but states can go around her; if she wants to do things the hard way.

      Way to drag your feet; and snub the will of the people of Florida…I suppose you get some nice kick backs from those wishing to keep cannabis illicit.

      Perhaps; some people could look closer at her ties and deals…and uncover some corruption, she’ll step down to avoid prosecution just like all the others; caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    20. Mark says:

      So what plans does NORML have to make Pam Bondi’s life miserable until she listens to the voice of the people instead of making up our minds for us?

      I would like to know NORML’s plan to aggressively address this until we get victory like Washington and Colorado did. The climate is right for the population to accept this in Florida right now.

      You guys ask for donations to help. What are you going to do?

      [Editor’s note: Firstly, these kinds of personal freedoms are not gained by out of staters parachuting into a particular state and bringing freedom to those who don’t achieve it on their own. Colorado and Washington are not Florida. The politics are entirely different in the Sunshine State, there are a dozen expensive media markets, the state is still in recoil mode from the ‘cocaine war’ days of the 1980s and the legislature has largely avoided the topic for over 20 years.

      What has to be done to get medical cannabis on the political map in FL?

      Like cannabis consumers in states like CA, OR, WA, CO, MA…etc…FL citizens need to better organize in the state.

      Question: Are you a member of FL CAN and/or FL NORML?]

    21. Mark says:

      Actually, I contacted you regarding starting a chapter in the Central Florida area that was not attached to a college and received no reply whatsoever from you, but thank you for deflecting my question back to me.

      [Paul Armentano responds: There is an active NORML chapter in the central Florida region: http://normlucf.com/
      http://www.facebook.com/groups/2200254398/?fref=ts.

    22. Fed-Up says:

      I want you guy’s to go to the south —of florida..

      if you cant” perhaps,you don’t deserve,to go beyond, the bermuda–triangle,

    23. Mark says:

      Thanks again for responding to my post without reading it. I know about the NORML chapter at UCF. I follow their FB page. I am 50 years old and for myself and many fringe baby boomers, the UCF chapter is NOT for us. I also feel the demographic I belong to will be the deciding factor in Florida. I constantly reach out to the elected officials in our area and feel I could do more, but I would like to be able to connect with people I can relate to and not a college chapter. I have submitted my contact information to you if you are interested. If not, that’s cool as well.

      [Editor’s note: Self-evidently your comment was read….if you can’t find a fit with your local NORML or CAN chapter in FL, then consider establishing a NORML chapter closer.]

    24. Phil says:

      Am I the only person that doesn’t have a problem with her response. I’m a Florida resident who pushes hard for marijuana reform here. The problem isn’t the Attn.General, its the legislation. Her job is to enforce the laws as written, not change the law. Seems to me that the focus should be on supporting house bill 6066 in the Federal House and not on bashing Florida’s Attn. General.

    25. Tommy says:

      As a former state of Florida employee, I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that if you expect Florida or it’s people (Floridiots) to use basic logic, you will wait for a very long time. This is not a smart state. They don’t vote, think, or generate revenue well. While I’m a firm believer in legalization. I can promise that Florida will be the very last state to legalize. Florida is dead last in everything for a reason. Frankly, as a Northerner living among these people I can say confidently that Florida is a shining example of an unfinished civil war….

    26. Don't call me a stoner says:

      The above comment from Tommy is on the mark 100%..
      Started but deleted the rest of my comment. too tired and too sick to type what I really feel about the hanging penis of the US.

    27. lockedoutofthesheddammit says:

      …and especially not a governor that supports the pill industry…i have written gov.Scott about legalization of cannabis and, his office contends they will do nothing until our federal government changes…..this makes me hate florida…..the state government that is…not its people….

    28. Dave says:

      Tommy, she is the problem. She does have the authority to just that, but she turns around and passes the buck. There isn’t any “compelling need” to match Florida’s and the Federal’s bogus scheduling system. If Florida has a problem the rest of the country doesn’t she has the authority to act. If the rest of the country is having a problem and Florida is not, she has the authority to act. As a state official, she should be putting this through so Florida can stop requiring itself to waste money harassing sick people and their care givers.

      This is not rocket science.

    29. Dave says:

      Opps, I meant Phil. The law as written does give her the authority to make these decisions. It is a “temporary exemption”. And it is a bad decision to not bother helping people.

    30. jetta says:

      PAM BONDI’S FATHER DIED FROM LEUKEMIA TODAY–THIS IS HER WAKE UP CALL..CANNABIS KILLS LEUKEMIA CELLS–http://blog.norml.org/2013/01/09/ny-governor-cuomo-reaffirms-commitment-to-marijuana-decriminalization/ COULD HAVE SAVED HIM–THIS IS YOU WAKE UP CALL–

    31. Jamie says:

      So basically, Pam Bondi doesn’t care about what the people want and doesn’t want the people to vote because she knows what they will vote for. She cares about her beliefs only. This is probably why Florida’s economy is especially shitty right now, because people who need this plant for medical reasons don’t or can’t live there.

    32. Dont tell me Pam Bondi’s family dont smoke bud to deal with her tight ass way of thinking

    33. Omega says:

      Keeping the American people misinformed and distracted along with effective propaganda has been quite impressive. It all boils down to Americans being pretty fucking stupid or a nicer way to say it would be to say, uneducated and not doing our duties. Its not even so much about this amazingly beneficial plant, the gov violated all Americans, and claimed ownership over every individual so that you can no longer live as you see fit, manage yourself, or make decisions for yourself without punishment or permission from them. Most American are easily defeated by simple play on values, using your good nature against you ie. For your “Safety” “Health” “Protection” “Children are in danger” A major defeating component to Americans is the implications on the common good in word play with every deceptive action committed, but it is not for good, it is only to defeat you. These con artist (politicians and government)are liars. Don’t forget that these are our employees using our own money against us.

    34. Dennis King says:

      Not looking to get re-elected are you Pam? It is time to change the law,let us put it to a vote.Medical use,should be allowed as soon as possible. There are so many people that it would help.Thank God for people like Jodi James,maybe she should run for Attorney General!

    35. Robert says:

      If you want medical marijuana to be illegal you WANT me & those like me to suffer, period.

    36. joe says:

      if we are allowed to own guns in case the government got out of hand we the people can step in with guns to reclaim our country, how do we know when the time has come?
      answer: we’re shit out of luck

    37. Seth Henson says:

      Florida and the Federal government need to keep up with changes in medical marijuana. In the EC and Canada truly medical marijuana is used to treat pain and disease. True medical marijuana is high the substance CBD and lower in THC than in pothead marijuana. True medical marijuana is used to treat schizophrenia symptoms, clarifies thinking and reduces pain. Far less toxic than opiates, when used as a vegetable oil or glycerin extract it is highly beneficial to the health of patients who really need it. But, the DEA, prison system, and big Pharma would lose money.

    38. Anonymous says:

      We could solve so many of the States and counties budget problems with the tax monies that could be collected off of medical marijuana use. We are being ran by a bunch of people that rather say no. What ever happen to for the people by the people. Now it’s by big money for big money. Florida Democrats need to get out and Vote these Republican Teabaggers out. For The People By The People……

    39. Eliot says:

      We could solve so many of the States and counties budget problems with the tax monies that could be collected off of medical marijuana use. We are being ran by a bunch of people that rather say no. What ever happen to for the people by the people. Now it’s by big money for big money. Florida Democrats need to get out and Vote these Republican Teabaggers out. For The People By The People……

    40. Trent says:

      Democratic and Republican elected officials oppose Marijuana alike. This is a question about liberty and the role government plays in your life. If you want real change, elect a libertarian.

    41. Harleynut says:

      Fire Her; it is the Will of the People. Put it to a vote in Florida.

    42. jay says:

      The only reason is because she cant prosecut or make money off it

    43. jay says:

      I don’t smoke though just saying

    44. Reefmermaid says:

      No surprises here.

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