Florida Attorney General ‘Just Says No’ To Medical Marijuana

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former 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.


    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.


    Edward A. Tellechea
    Chief Assistant Attorney General

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

    1. michael says:

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

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. Fireweed says:

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

    5. 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!

    6. Leebob says:


    7. ben says:

      just say KNOW!

    8. 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.

    9. jim says:

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

    10. 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.

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