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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. Dave says:

      A weak excuse. Conformity to crap is not in Florida’s best interest. What I just read says, ‘I can’t make a decision and defer to those who also didn’t bother making a decision. Here, have slice of this shitpie’ Just read the name of this law, “Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act”. Letting people access marjiuana will reduce the amount of dangerous drugs that are killing people and it is completely in line with “Drug Abuse Prevention”.

      Why isn’t this attorney general sending a letter to the feds asking for an exemption? Too lazy to do the job?

    2. RUT says:

      i would say that Pam Bondi wants to keep her head in the sand and continue the WAR ON THE PEOPLE. I believe FLORIDA is headed in a new direction come the next election . This currant administration is polling at about a 38% approval rate. Florida is a changing state and the old guard drug warriors are nearly out the door. they just can not give up seizing property,arresting young people for smoking a harmless plant and jailing them. its your young people these do gooders want to ruin the lives of! To continue on they have to ignore facts and the direction a now majority of our people want to take concerning prohibition as well as ignoring the seniors who want the benefits of medical marijuana. California has had medical MJ for almost 15 years and the world did not end. The effort to keep marijuana a class I substance when it does not even meet the governments own criteria of a class I substance is beyond me. FLORIDA COULD DECRIMINALIZE SMALL AMOUNTS AT THE VERY LEAST. This state is a big player and should join the movement for legalization. But as for the mindless babble coming out of our state house I say just wait. A new governor is on the way. FLORIDA could sure could use the revenue from legalization. BUT I WOULD NOT EXPECT MUCH FROM RICK SCOTT &CO.. Identify these politicians and vote them out.

    3. David says:

      As someone in a political career, and who wishes to continue in that career, she’s not going to rock the boat. What did you expect she’d do?

    4. R Andrew Ohge says:

      It appears it’s about time for this tool of big Pharma to be told “No!” to another term of office. Should she and her minions wish to continue Prohibition, it’s “high time” THEY ponied up the dollars for it.

    5. Jason says:

      Another moron at the top. It shouldn’t suprise anyone, these people can’t even count votes.There are lines out the door at the meth clinics, pop your pill, (who cares about the pills side effects) get in your car and come back next week, that is if your not dead from an OD after getting the rest of the pills on the street. Unfortunately I live here and I can’t wait to get out!

    6. WISEMAN says:

      lost me vote :( losers

    7. Dave K says:

      It is truly barbaric for anyone to deny medicine to people. Marijuana is medicine. Between 1840 and 1900 about half of the prescriptions written by doctors contained cannabis. Over 100 papers were reported in medical literature of that time. Google marijuana and cancer. You will find that not only is it used to treat side effects of chemotherapy but that medicine in the plant has direct anti tumor properties.

    8. [...] the original post: Florida <b>Attorney</b> General 'Just Says No' To Medical Marijuana <… Tags: activism, alabama, attorney, donate, flickr, information, religion, [...]

    9. Galileo Galilei says:

      Frankly, the Federal scheduling amounts to an outright, untenable lie. Seems like she just couldn’t summon the courage needed to make the right decision for the people of Florida.

    10. Gweedo says:

      This is really not surprising at all. Some parts of Florida are extremely conservative. FL does not rate high on my list of states likely to reform their cannabis laws.

    11. michael says:

      All those retired and elderly folks that could use cannabis, how sad.

    12. Truthy says:

      This is expected, but Florida is also home of the so-called “Pill Mills” (which I guess they’re walking back from now) that make it easy for people to abuse prescription pain medications. Opiate-based meds are far more addictive and destructive than marijuana use. They may be deferring to Federal laws, but from what I can see, the state’s being hypocritical.

    13. charlie soroka says:

      Surprise, surprise. Florida likely will be one of those States that will be among the last to make such a change regardless if the feds legalized it tomorrow.

    14. Fireweed says:

      Clearly, Florida is not a state where I will be spending my tourism dollars. Colorado looks much sunnier, even Washington, than Florida :-)

    15. Leebob says:

      Just give it some time ladies and gentlement. When other states see the ecomic impact of colorado and washington they will be on board. Especially if colorado and washington use the hemp plant to make products! Stay motivated, educate yourself, and ALWAYS VOTE!

    16. Leebob says:

      *economic

    17. ben says:

      just say KNOW!

    18. Anonymous says:

      Fl Gov Rick Scott made his fortune in healthcare,tried and failed to institute a drug test for welfare recipients.Fl legislature is all conservative,well mostly.Its a shame,Cannibus could do well as an outdoor crop here.

    19. jim says:

      Its a shame We could be one of the best outdoor grow states,2 growing seasons basically.

    20. TheOracle says:

      If Congress will pass House Bill 6606 to get the feds out of the way, Florida ought to be the next state to jump on the cannabis money train.

      These people in D.C. keep finding ways of pissing off the little people like me. Leona Hemsley was right: “Only little people pay taxes.” Yes, I pay my taxes, and as a person who was diagnosed with cancer I want to pay even more taxes once cannabis is legal, instead of doing without it! I want the government to stop fucking around and get the hell out of the way.

      I swear, Pennsylvania sucks. And I can’t move. Not everyone can move to an MMJ state or to Washington or Colorado. Pennsylvania will flip after New York state. Sure could use the revenues to Fund Education with Strict Regulation, fund state pensions and more. But no, Governor Corbett has decided on austerity, won’t raise taxes, yet is giving Shell like a billion dollar tax break to build a natural gas processing plant out in Pittsburgh to continue nurturing himself on the teets of the Marcellus Shale frackers. Shell, poor babies, are really hurting for that money, like they don’t make enough off gasoline and oil exploration so as it is?

      I’m disgusted! I don’t want to wait for Florida. A lot of northerners retire in Florida, so it’s just too bad there’s no reciprocity in mentality about cannabis. Might be for the better. New York flips, others, including Florida follows.

      Barry, I hope you’re going to visit some of the old Choom Gang and toke it up, then go back to D.C. and get the feds out of the way.

    21. Elaine says:

      Thanks to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi I have just added Florida to my list of places I will not even consider taking my family for vacation! I dread the thought of my kids getting caught up in this kind of prohibition idiocy! Lately, it seems as though one of the qualifications to be an Attorney General is to be ignorant about marijuana. Why is that???

    22. john w says:

      Hello everybody the time is a wonderful time…,a time to enjoy…,tiz the season with a beutiful dank christmas tree to admire and enjoy with great admiral admiration to take home with you and hang on the refridgerater door to glance at as you have your morning cup of coffee and you think and plan out your day for all the wonderful activities that may follow etc…. happy holidays and have a good day.

    23. Ll says:

      May he never contract a terribly painful disease.

      I’ve been in pain for years, but the only legal remedies are destructive, so I’ve chosen not to medicate, yet. So here is sit, in pain. Thanks, government.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20810603

    24. somedood says:

      Florida has been up its ass quite a while over marijuana. Even tho I would bet 80% of them smoke it… or at least more than 50%.

    25. [...] Log In Florida Attorney General ‘Just Says No’ To Medical Marijuana ← prev newer → Florida Attorney General ‘Just Says No’ To Medical Marijuana: [...]

    26. phrtao says:

      What they are not saying is that they are happy to prevent the sick from receiving medicine. All this waffle about keeping in line with federal law might sound very good but what about the people who are suffering. If 18 other states or districts can do it then why not Florida. This response definitely needs further questioning. I would like them to confirm that all this legal compliance outweighs the needs of the sick and the compliance with federal is worth people’s suffering and quite possibly early deaths.
      These political types need to be made aware that consigning people to pain and death means a quick exit from office.

    27. Bob Z says:

      Asking the Florida Attorney General is like asking the DEA to reschedule marijuana. Never going to happen!

      When is someone going to do a Florida Amendment? Now I cannot vote because I was convicted with 23 grams of marijuana which is a felony in 1999, but I will help collect signatures on my days off.

      Also get rid of Bondi and Governor baldy we need politicians that work for the people not the Republican party.

    28. HarmonKillaBlues says:

      so my options for migraine headaches, arthritic pain, insomnia, anxiety (by-product of depression & 9/11 ptsd) are chemically engineered addictive pills or organ-rotting alcohol because the atty general personally knows what will help me. and let’s not forget law enforcement and innocent citizens who have DIED because some jackass behind a desk hasn’t read a history book on prohibition and it’s consequences. by the way, i tried the legally sanctioned remedies, i ended up in the hospital.

    29. Tudo says:

      Any state that locks people in cages for trying to take care of themselves has no right to critisize anyones human rights records.

    30. Viking says:

      Has anyone else noticed that the self-rightous republican party always claim they are PRO freedom when in fact they always VOTE against medical weed which is an important personal freedom and effective medicine to any cancer patient.
      They have no guts, they do not represent the citizens or cancer victims of Florida, Most of them preach morality when they campaign only to show no mercy or compassion as soon as they take office. What kind of person does that? The republican leadership bring to my mind visions of a huge, perpetual Klan rally that hates every single day 24-7 or the third reicht goose-stepping all over our rights.
      The republicans and their party are obsolete! They are no more moral than the Taliban or the corrupt Mullahs who dictate instead of lead.
      They are impeding progress of free people!
      See Ya’ Bondi and Bozo! There is no excuse for voting against medical weed anymore based on scientific evidence.
      I hope they get cancer, try to cop a bag for relief and get busted and end up in jail but this never happens to the ELITE.
      Still hope they get cancer of their private parts so they better empathize with our situation….

    31. St. Nick says:

      We have the numbers… We won in two(2) states. Keep on rollin’! Keep the fight up until we have total victory! Keep on smokin’! 420 Have’nt you seen the movies? Good side always wins!!! Boo YAH!

    32. Stephen Daniel says:

      There are plenty of big pharma opium pills for everyone! She does not want to cut into those profits that big pharma are making getting everybogy hooked on opium. Big pharma got her elected. When she gets cancer from our polluted world she can get doped up on opium and pray for a big pharma cure that will never happen.

    33. J says:

      So many, so afraid. Why oh why did you choose public office if you had no intention of supporting said public?

    34. Floridian - Shawn says:

      For a state that is so Lax on Gun laws, makes a ton of money off tourism, and has one of largest elder communities, why is this bitch not taking action. I’ve lived here my whole life, and I’d say 1 out of 4 people smoke on a regular basis. Even the 60+ people are voting to legalize, for medical reasons, it’s not like Florida is immune from cancer??!! And if anything it’ll crack down on kids destroying their brains with Spice and drug pushers selling cocaine. It’s just ignorant, I’ll be sure not to vote for Pam for any reelection. Who’s with me? Florida it’s time to Stand Up!

    35. 305 says:

      This is pretty hypocritical as one of the few ppl prescribed federal medical mary live in south Florida. http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.source.php?sourceID=009029

      They are just ignorant as the illegal trade is always in bloom it has never been difficult to get mj in south Florida. They just want to criminalize us to limit our rights. Florida is home to the most indoor grows. Florida is the supplier of pills to the rest of the country. It is a state which is a leader in fraud. Great place huh I would call it the scourge of the country. I think they have bigger fish to fry. But hey they know best right I’m sure they are all very logical and educated. I just hope when it is legal that we can hold the ppl who stood against the legalization, responsible for ruining lives even if we can just nab a couple and make examples of them as they have done to so many of us.

    36. bandit says:

      This is BS I say we march on her office ASAP

    37. chris says:

      its as simple as this the people of florida do not want marijuana legalized or medically available so let them have their way. The people in Colorado and Washington are simply different. Start respecting peoples ways of life please. Florida will be the last state to make medically legal if at all ever…

    38. chris says:

      IF YOU DONT LIKE STATE LAWS FUCKING MOVE OR DONT SMOKE IF YOU ARE SO AFRAID OF GETTING ARRESTED THIS IS WHY WE HAVE STATES RIGHTS THE STATES ARE LIKE INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES. I AM SO TIRED OF HEARING PEOPLE COMPLAIN PEOPLE ARE GETTING ARRESTED MOVE OUT WEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    39. dk says:

      The drug war isn’t about drugs. It’s about money. Most people pay the fines. Prison serves as motivation for other people to pay the fine. Then, there’s the forfeitures. Everybody is making money on both sides. Money that would be lost if everything was above board. Like if the money was legal and being taxed. Governments, federal and local, buy expensive equipment, pay tons of overtime, etc. etc. Everybody is making money. Too bad so many people have to die in the process. Even the law enforcement who benefits from the drug war, sacrifice their own lives because of the benefit of all of that money. We are going to have to mass up and overthrow those who choose money over what’s best for the whole country, in fact the whole world.

    40. Jeff says:

      In Tennessee cannabis is Schedule six. SIX!!! Even so, it’s still illegal here because the feds say so.

    41. @ ” chris says:
      December 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      IF YOU DONT LIKE STATE LAWS…MOVE OUT WEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      - _ – _ – _ – _

      Great idea, Chris!

      Simple and easy to say,
      EXCEPT it’s REALLY EXPENSIVE for most to “Just Relocate”.

      EVEN IF one has friends, relatives, new residence
      and / or job awaiting them in WA, OR, CA, AZ or CO.

      Even more difficult IF one is barely subsisting on severely-limited
      Social Insecurity retirement income in Dumpwater, FL
      OR is minimally-employed in marijuana-hostile Mayberry, USA.

    42. Matt says:

      I am disheartened that it seems FL will be among the last states to approve medical use of cannabis. This doesn’t have much to do with party politics, however. Many Democrats are against it. Vice President Biden and Attorney General Holder are serious drug warriors. Marijuana prohibition is an ideology that is hard for some to give up, especially when the whole criminal (in)justice system thrives on it. One would think that concern for her constituents would lead Attorney General Bondi to comply with the request she was given instead of vowing allegiance to the federal government.

    43. Dennis King says:

      Well I think it is time to vote out Pam Bondi,she really is not up to date on what our voters want.We need this medicine to help people who are sick. I think she wants Florida to be the last State to ok Cannibis for medical use in the country. Look at the states who have ok’d the use of medical cannibis,from the littlest state Rhode Island to California,and you will see this program really works!!!!

    44. FLORIDA CITY ATTORNEY OF 37 YEARS, VETERAN AIR FORCE CAPTAIN- “LEGALIZE MARIJUANA” http://www.tampabay.com/news/perspective/time-has-come-to-legalize-marijuana/1263688

      ENDING PARAGRAPHS:

      If my assumptions and analysis are anywhere near close to being accurate, the answer is easy. Why are the people in Colorado and Washington state so much smarter than we are? Like you, I was raised and encouraged to believe by my society that use of marijuana is an evil. Almost a century ago the majority of Americans must have thought the use of alcohol was immoral or destructive; otherwise would we have had Prohibition? We now have our own prohibition regarding the recreational use of marijuana. Why? We don’t seem to be able to learn. Any politician who was to encourage a change in this policy would certainly put himself or herself at risk from the overreaction of people who are not willing to think this thing through. Often we are not willing to recognize the illogic and stupidity of ideas that were imposed upon us over many, many decades. We have been conditioned to think in a certain way.

      But I’m tired of letting the bad guys win. I’m tired of paying massive amounts of money to control something that many of my fellow citizens want to use. I’m tired of letting the vast amounts of revenue from the sale of this product go to criminals. I’m tired of criminalizing large numbers of young men and paying the enormous costs of their arrest, prosecution and incarceration; not to mention all the costs of social services that accompany that process and rarely result in any recognizable success.

      I’m tired of my country being the loser and the bad guys being the winner. We cannot and will not stop the flow of marijuana into this country or the use of marijuana by millions of our citizens because they see nothing wrong with it. It is time to be realistic and sensible and change our thinking and change the law. Get smarter and get real.

      John G. Hubbard, who served as a captain in the Air Force from 1967 to 1971 and as a special agent in the Office of Special Investigations, is a lawyer in the firm of Frazer, Hubbard, Brandt, Trask, Yacavone, Metz and Daigneault in Dunedin. He was Dunedin’s city attorney for 37 years before retiring last year.

    45. Dave Evans says:

      There isn’t anything “wrong” with marijuana or using it. This is simply a case of respect. If my activities are neutral, then I’m not committing a crime. Marijuana is illegal so that me and my friends can be picked on, disrespected, fined, jailed and pushed to the side. So I really want to know, is this what America is about?

    46. john dykhuizen says:

      Michelle Leonhart Bondi!!!!! Thank God Pam Bondi rescued the poor folks in Fl from the evil possibilities of medicinal marijuana. Are you smarter than a fifth grader Pam? Over 100,000 alcohol related deaths last year. More deaths from tobacco annually than from HIV,illegal drug use,alcohol use,motor vehicle accidents,suicides and murders combined….DID YOU KNOW THAT Pam? Did you know that NO ONE has ever died smoking or ingesting cannabis? I have a fifth grade grandson….who knows more about marijuana than you do….YOU PAM BONDI are merely a puppet….much like the ones pulling your strings in Washington!!! I love it,shes hillarious!!!

    47. brian says:

      i wonder how the feds can sleep at night after thinking about it they are the reason why thosands of your childern die in the US everyday… pregnet women addiced to tabbaco witch the feds allow the sale of these products killing the child at birth or than that kid is more likly to use tabbaco when they get older all beacse of fear of going to jail over somthing harmless this florida general or the feds should ban tobacco and legalize marijuana or send them self to jail for being apart of genicide witch is a federal crime!!! witch i deeply suport norml in what they are doing or what they have done thanks norml everything you have done has been right

    48. pat says:

      http://youtu.be/QiBcC8_goVg . vote here but out your sheriff has more power than she dos

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