Make your voice heard in the upcoming hearings in Florida regarding medical marijuana regulation

The Department of Health has proposed rules for Amendment 2

Here is an article about the proposed Department of Health Hearings.

February 6-9, 2017 staff members from the DOH Office of Compassionate Use are visiting five Florida cities. The tour is an effort by the Department to fulfill the public comment requirements.  

Anyone can make a comment about the implementation of Amendment 2 through the Departments’ online form found here. 

If you are passionate about ensuring patients have safe, legal access to cannabis, consider attending and speaking at a meeting near you.

Items to speak out about!

  • Changing the definition of caregiver – Any close blood relative should be allowed to act as a caregiver without a background check. A level 1 background check won’t exclude a con artist or swindler from becoming a caregiver and extorting a patient, unless the rules exempt people convicted of fraud or elder abuse. 
  • Don’t ask Doctors to order specific quantities of cannabis. The proposed rules require doctors to “order” specific quantities of cannabis, which is too much like an unlawful prescription and puts doctors at risk under federal law. If doctors don’t participate, patients won’t be able to enroll.
  • Let the doctor make the decision if cannabis is right for the patient. The proposed rules give the Florida Board of Medicine — not the patient’s doctor — the ability to determine whether the patient’s condition is “substantially similar” to those listed in the amendment.
  • Ensure doctors can re-authorize our recommendation every 45-days without a subsequent visit! Patients can’t afford to pay a doctor, often out of pocket, every 45-days just to stay on the registry.

When preparing to speak, here are some things to consider. 

  • Know what you’re talking about. Read the proposed rules carefully and look up the references. 
  • The DOH can only implement the laws as written in the Constitution or written in Florida Statute. Make sure you understand the difference and speak to what DOH can actually do. Here is the full statute as it exists.
  • Don’t try to cover more than one or two items when you speak. Pick your point, have your facts on hand and make it relevant.
  • There will be forms available before the meeting, get there early and fill one out. Your statement becomes part of the official record and the information you provide is public.
  • Your time will be limited to three minutes or less. If enough people ask to speak you could get one minute. Get to your point quickly.
  • Don’t waste time introducing yourself. They have your form. Get to your point quickly.

Here are the times and locations of the public hearings. You don’t have to attend to be heard.

Remember, everyone can comment through
this online form.

Feb 62:00 pm Office of Compassionate Use Public Hearing – Duval County Health Department, 900 University Blvd. North in Jacksonville

Feb 710:00 am – Office of Compassionate Use Public Hearing – Broward County Health Department, 780 SW 24th Street in Fort Lauderdale

Feb 89:00 am – Office of Compassionate Use Public Hearing – Florida Department of Health, Tampa Branch Laboratory, 3602 Spectrum Blvd.

Feb 86:00 pm – Office of Compassionate Use Public Hearing – Orange County Health Department, 6102 Lake Ellenor Drive in Orlando

Feb 94:00 pm – Office of Compassionate Use Public Hearing – Betty Easley Conference Center, 4075 Esplanade Way, Room 148 in Tallahassee.


For whom I am voting in 2016

So, I get asked quite a bit as to whom I am going to vote and putting out these “voter vote for meguides” is an easy way for people to see how I plan to vote. Hopefully, many will get educated about the candidates and the issues rather than simply going straight down the ballot voting for the “D” or the “R”. If the “D” or the “R” are the best candidate for YOU in a particular race, then that is great. Over the years my philosophy in voting has moved away from strategy to instead voting FOR the most freedom-based candidate and the most freedom-based issues in any particular election. I have limited my selection to only those I personally can vote. If you wish to see more expansive recommendations for Palm Beach County, you can visit the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County’s Voters Guide. Oh, and way down near the bottom of the ballot you’ll see my name, vote for me!

So, that being said, here are my picks:

President & Vice President

Gary Johnson & Bill Weld

Gary Johnson is clearly the most freedom-minded candidate in the presidential race of the three that will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Floridians will have a choice between six candidates (not including write-ins) for president, but again, only three will be on the ballot in all 50 states so I narrowed my choice to within those three.

United States Senator

Paul Stanton

There are seven candidates for which to choose (not including write-ins) and I am choosing the Libertarian.

U.S. Representative – District 21

Paul Spain

Since only Spain and Frankel are in this race, excluding the Write-In candidate Mike Trout, Spain gets my vote. I am strongly tempted to vote Trout as I have met him several times and there are things I do not agree with Spain on, Spain remains the most freedom-based candidate.

Florida Senate – District 31

Jeff Clemens

Since Jason Swaby recently withdrew his write-in candidacy, Jeff Clemens is the winner of this race as he ran unopposed by a Republican or Libertarian. Perhaps next time around he will be given more serious competition so voters will have a choice. I like Clemens on many issues; however, he is not freedom-focused. 

Florida Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Judges

I am voting NOT TO RETAIN any of the existing judges in these races. If someone can convince me otherwise, feel free to shoot me an email and I will update accordingly.

15th Circuit Judge – Group 4

No opinion and not certain who I will vote for at this time

County Court Judge – Group 11

Gregg Lerman

Good, freedom-minded judge, though he is bound by the law.

The following are NON-PARTISAN races

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 2

Matthew Bymaster

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 3

Jesse Jackson OR Stephen Jara

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 4

Karl Dickey


No. 1 – Solar – NO

I supported and voted for a better version of solar change for Florida during the August 30, 2016, primary which was passed. This version is not the better option as even environmentalists are against it.

No. 2 – Medical Marijuana – YES

Contrary to the scare tactics being put forth in recent advertisements, this amendment is ONLY for using cannabis for medical purposes and nothing more. There are many patients, especially seniors and those with cancer, who could benefit from cannabis treatment.

No. 3 – Tax Exemption – NO

Although this amendment is well-intentioned, it will only cause the rest of the taxpaying population to pay more. We need to get away from what we have been doing by creating tax exemptions for a special class of people and move toward lowering everyone’s tax exposure.

No. 5 – Tax Exemption – NO

Although this amendment is well-intentioned, it will only cause the rest of the taxpaying population to pay more. We need to get away from what we have been doing by creating tax exemptions for a special class of people and move toward lowering everyone’s tax exposure.

Countywide Question – Sales Tax Increase – NO

This 17 percent increase in the county’s sales tax is not only unnecessary, but also immoral. Although portrayed as a one cent increase in the county’s sales tax, it is actually a 17 percent increase. Any news outlet or politician describing it as a “penny tax” is not being honest about what it will cost the general public, especially those in the county who can least afford it.

Primary Advocate Groups Will Be At International Canna Pro Expo

Steve Edmonds supports hemp and cannabis legalization and is running for Florida House in District 28.

The International Canna Pro Expo will be taking place from October 2 – 4, 2015, at Caribe Royal All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center. The organizers for the event are excited to announce that it will be open to the public, not just those in the medical field, and the upcoming event will host the 3 primary advocate groups driving petitions in the state of Florida on medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.  These are as follows:  United for Care, Florida CAN and Regulate Florida.

Candidate for State House of Representatives District 28  Steve Edmonds stated,  “I am so encouraged by the citizen engagement regarding cannabis. There are multiple petitions calling for the medical or recreational availability. I think it would be an outstanding message to send to  Tallahassee and our political leaders that the citizens of the state  want control of their own bodies. The more that make the ballot, the  stronger our movement is.”

For many years, marijuana has been considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance. As such, opportunities for study in the United States have been severely limited. Now, changing laws and eager medical professionals have contributed to a significant amount of research in recent years that will help to incorporate the countless benefits of the herb into modern medicine.

This event will focus on bringing together skilled professionals within the business and medical fields. It’s also expected that they will discuss the implications and implementations of medical marijuana. The agenda includes topics ranging from PTSD, cancer, anxiety disorders, and even movement disorders.

Attendees can expect to hear testimonies from patients that benefit by medical marijuana. Providers, which have studied the many positive effects of marijuana within the health occupations industry, will grace those in attendance with a great deal of information and experience. There will also be ample time for networking opportunities. More information can be found at .

The International Canna Pro Expo offers a platform where health care and business professionals, patients, and the general public can convene to network and learn about the science of medical cannabis.

Action Item: Florida residents, contact your reps to support medical marijuana – time is running out!

Yesterday, April 27, 2015, Florida‘s SB 7066, was postponed again by the Florida Senate, the fifth time in the last five sessions. The general session for the Florida Senate is set to expire at midnight this coming Friday, and there is fear the bill will not pass. The bill has gained approval of cannabis activists in the state, including the Florida Cannabis Action Network. The bill would allow 15 percent THC for qualifying patients, permitting them to get relief of ailment symptoms as well as potentially cure some diseases, as some research is leaning. The bill does not go far enough for libertarians in the State of Florida; however, feel it is a step in the right direction by respecting patients in need of a natural solution to the medical conditions.

Cannabis activists are now supportive of Florida medcial marijuana bill

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Activists are hoping the general public will rise to the occasion to support the bill and send an email to their representatives in support of the SB 7066. There has been a strike-all amendment added that, with its amendments, makes SB 7066 palatable to cannabis legalization supporters.


Historic medical marijuana trial begins today in Broward County



WHAT: First medical necessity defense jury trial in Florida is scheduled to be heard in Broward County

WHERE: Broward County Courthouse, Courtroom 4870 (Judge Rothschild), 496 SE 3rd Ave. Fort Lauderdale

WHEN: Monday, February 23, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.

WHY: Jesse Teplicki, 50, faces a felony count of possession of marijuana following his January 2013 arrest by the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Teplicki, who suffers from a severe case of anorexia which suppresses his appetite and makes him nauseous, was arrested last year for the cultivation and possession of 46 marijuana plants. For the first time in Florida history, a jury will get to decide if cannabis was medically necessary in Mr. Teplicki’s case. Typically, these types of cases are decided by a judge.
Mr. Teplicki is being represented by Michael C. Minardi, a partner in the law firm of Kelley Kronenberg. Mr. Minardi has dedicated his legal practice to defending patients who use cannabis for medical purposes for the past decade.

Despite increased arrests, marijuana use has increased markedly in the last 20 years.

Arrests for marijuana account for 48.3% of all drug arrests in the United States. This figure was at 49.8% in 2008, increased yearly to a level of 54.7% in 2011 before dropping to the current level in 2012. The total number of drug arrests rose to over 1.5 million in 1996, rose to about 1.9 million in 2006 before declining in the last several years to its current level of 1,552,432.

In 2012 the NSDUH estimated that there were 31.8 million Americans who used marijuana at least on an annual basis and 18 million who used marijuana monthly. The annual figures include 3.5 million users between the ages of 12 and 17, 10.7 million between the ages of 18 and 25, and 16.1 million age 26 and older.

Read the full study here.

New poll shows greater support for legalized marijuana in Florida

A Quinnipiac University poll released this morning shows the largest support for legalizing marijuana in the State of Florida ever. This should help Libertarian Party of Florida gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie who, unlike his opponents have very limited support of legalizing marijuana. It should also help Libertarian Party of Florida Attorney General candidate, Bill Wohlsifer, who has been on the forefront of the getting marijuana legalized in the state.



Florida Attorney General candidate supports medical marijuana, but not this bill

Libertarian Party of Florida candidate for Attorney General Bill Wohlsifer publically thanked Speaker Weatherford yesterday for placing the House version of what is commonly referred to as the “Charlotte’s Web” bill (HB 843) on the calendar, in the 9th inning yesterday. “If approved, Charlotte’s Web can bring relief to 125,000 children in Florida who suffer seizures from intractable epilepsy,” said Wohlsifer. “We have a unique opportunity to help children as the state Senate has wisely realized.” The bill is highly restrictive and will a small number of Floridians, especially in relation to Florida’s Amendment 2 which will be on the ballot this November for Florida voters to decide. Amendment 2 is more expansive in the number of potential patients the cannabis plant will help if passed by at least sixty percent of the voters.

Read the rest of the story here.


Florida Governor Rick Scott ready to sign highly restrictive marijuana bill

Today, the Florida Senate passed SB 1030 and the Floria House passed their version earlier this week to legalize a highly restrictive medical marijuana bill. Last night, May 1, 2014, Florida Governor Rick stated that he would sign the legislation into law making marijuana once again legal in Florida — even if to a small number of Floridians. The bill, often referred to as the “Charlotte’s Web” bill would legalize a specialized strain of cannabis for a small number of patients. The original bill only focused on children with seizures, however it was expanded to a restrictive number of cancer patients as well. The bill is so restrictive, it was the only way for Republicans to stay in the running, politically, this November as the overwhelming majority of Floridians feel marijuana should be legal in the state.

Read the rest of the story here.cannabis

Florida cannabis bill heads to Florida Senate Judiciary Committee this morning

Today, April 21, 2014, the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee will hear Senate Bill 843 at 10:45 a.m. and will likely move along soon for a vote in the Florida Senate and Florida House of Representatives. SB 843 is the most restrictive of the cannabis bills floating around Tallahassee this 2014 legislative session and would offer relief to an estimated 400 patients in Florida.

Read the rest of the story here.