Tag Archive: Marijuana

Lawmakers reveal bipartisan effort to reduce harsh drug sentences

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed all federal prosecutors to return to the old ways. Instead of taking steps to limit long prison sentences for nonviolent, low-level drug offenders, he ordered U.S. Attorneys nationwide to seek the sentence set out in the federal sentencing guidelines, no matter how harsh. "By definition," he opined in his policy memo, "the most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory-minimum sentences." In other words, if the sentence for a nonviolent, street-level marijuana user’s sentence is harsh, it’s because Congress wants it that way. But there’s plenty of evidence that Congress doesn’t want the extreme drug sentences we’ve been seeing — drug sentences that break up families, devastate... Read More »

Medical marijuana implementation collapses on dispensary issue

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Thursday, May 18, 2017

How many retail dispensaries should a medical marijuana treatment center reasonably operate? The Florida House thinks it’s around 100 dispensaries per treatment center, but the Senate thinks it should be around 5. This disagreement has stalled the implementation of Florida’s medical marijuana amendment, to the consternation of many who voted for it. The bill looks dead for now. A spokesperson for the Department of Health said they continue to review public comments. If the agency makes rules at this point, litigation is expected. "The legislature chose political gamesmanship over the will of 71 percent of voters," said the executive director of Florida for Care. "The House got to poke the Senate in the eye one last time, but the real... Read More »

DHS Secretary Kelly opposes AG Sessions on federal drug policy

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly recently signaled a reversal in his opinion on marijuana — a reversal that puts him at odds with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions has repeatedly remarked that he disagrees with the legalization efforts going on nationwide and even linked use of marijuana to an alleged increase in violence. Neither the supposed increase in violence nor a connection between weed and violence is supported by evidence. However, despite a prohibition on most research regarding marijuana, we do have at least one solid fact: Despite Sessions’ regard for it as "poison," no death from a pot overdose has ever been reported, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s drug fact sheet on the substance. Contrast that, as... Read More »

Do you think Drug Free America should make marijuana policy?

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Friday, April 14, 2017

Drug Free America and its lobbying arm, Save Our Society From Drugs, opposed last year’s amendment to allow wider use of medical marijuana in Florida. Now, despite 71 percent of voters having an opposing view, the group is having a major impact on how the medical cannabis program is being structured. Some argue their impact is oversized. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Drug Free America sent lawmakers a list of suggestions, and 43 of them have already made it into the bill. By contrast, none of the language suggested by Florida for Care, one of the amendment’s authors, made it into the bill. "The suggestion that Drug Free America should be involved in the implementing language is absolutely ludicrous,"... Read More »

It’s impossible to accurately measure THC impairment. Now what?

  • On behalf of Mike G Law posted in on Thursday, April 6, 2017

In a recent appellate case in another state, a DUI defense attorney brought forward some pretty compelling evidence that the usual methods police use to determine whether someone is under the influence simply don’t apply to marijuana. No level of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive compound, has been shown to cause more impairment than someone would experience at a 0.05 blood alcohol level. Moreover, there’s currently no Breathalyzer-style test for THC impairment because no "red line" level for illegal driving has been established. Florida, like about half of the states and the District of Columbia, has legalized marijuana for at least some purposes. Here, marijuana is allowed for certain medical purposes. Even someone with a medical marijuana card, however, is prohibited from... Read More »