Miami Beach Sets Straw Vote For Medical Marijuana In November

ericstevens.jpg
Michael McElroy
Medical marijuana activist Eric Stevens
Reefer common sense is taking over Miami Beach. When voters go to the polls in November to elect a new mayor, they will also get the chance to answer a non-binding straw ballot question on whether the city commission should adopt a resolution urging the federal government and the Florida Legislature to decriminalize and approve the medicinal use of marijuana in the Sunshine State.

The Miami Beach City Commission quietly approved the straw ballot language in July as a compromise with a pro-pot organization that had collected more than 8,000 signatures from voters in support of a measure to remove criminal penalties for anyone caught with small amounts of weed.

"There was a a ton of work, time, and effort that was put into Miami Beach, and something needed to happen with relation to its marijuana policy," says Eric Stevens, one of the organizers behind Sensible Florida, the group that collected the signatures. "It may not be 100 percent of what we were asking for, but it is a great start, and it will give everyone who cares about this issue in Miami Beach a feel for what the electorate wants done regarding marijuana."

The Miami Beach straw ballot question comes at a time when it seems the medical marijuana movement in Florida is gaining momentum. On Thursday, People United for Medical Marijuana, or PUFMM, announced they had collected 110,000 signatures to get a proposed medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the 2014 statewide ballot -- enough to trigger a Florida Supreme Court review of the initiative's language. The group needs to collect a total of 683,149 verified voter signatures needed by Feb. 1 to get the measure on the 2014 November ballot. If it does, then 60 percent of Florida voters would need approve the amendment in order for it to be adopted.

Currently 20 states in the union have legalized medical marijuana in some form. Washington and Colorado became the first states to outright legalize pot for recreational use. However, the federal government continues to enforce marijuana prohibition laws in states that have legalized weed.

The Miami Beach petition drive began in 2010, seeking to stop arresting individuals for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Instead, pot smokers would get hit with civil fines. Several states and cities around the country have passed similar local laws. With support from Miami Beach documentary film production company Rakontur, and real estate developer Todd Glaser, Sensible Florida's volunteers collected more than 8,000 signatures. But Sensible Florida had to sue the city because Miami Beach officials kept delaying putting the measure on a ballot. Stevens says the city attorney's office proposed the straw ballot as a compromise.

On July 19, the city commission approved the ballot language with Mayor Matti Bower being the only dissenting vote.

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13 comments
lfordbanister
lfordbanister

Wow! I have never seen an article actually posted that was so far removed form the truth. Pure fantasy! Where to start even?!

1) There is no group called Sensible Florida that had anything to do with running the    decriminalization initiative in 2010 and there never has been. A statewide PAC, the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy (CSMP) was responsible for the initiative. Maybe someone got confused bc the web address was www.sensibleflorida.org. 

2) While a lot of signatures were gathered, probably enough to make the ballot, they were never turned in. After the petitions were literally stacked on the table at a city commission meeting in the summer of 2011, the single corporate sponsor who invited me to Miami Beach to run this initiative had a very hard time providing the funding promised. For reasons that are totally incomprehensible, they refused to pay the filing fee of about $1K to turn them in and have them processed. I reached out to many people in Florida and elsewhere, all of the people who showed up when the initiative was announced and when it was should have ended in July of 2011 but had never gathered a signature or given a dollar. No responses.

3) There is no lawsuit against the city of Miami Beach. There is nothing that could be sued on or any group even that could maintain a lawsuit. The CSMP disbanded in early 2012. The petitions were never turned in. So how could the city refuse to put it on a ballot? 

There is a point at which spin becomes irresponsibly misinforming the public. You call this journalism?! rofl 

wow 

plantmaster1907
plantmaster1907

" there are better ways to deliver THC, smoking it is just as bad as smoking tobacco."

You my friend are a fucking idiot. Smoking doesn't make it dangerous you fool. That's like saying don't eat fruits and vegetables cause you'll get fat and cancerous just like eating Burger King! 

Marijuana is MEDICINE and SOOOOO much more. If you don't KNOW so, then do a google search and find out. Stop spewing your fucking ignorance around. Jesus, I bet $50 you are at least 75lbs over weight!!!. Fat Fuck

knowa1
knowa1 topcommenter

KANEH BOSM IN THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GENESIS.

One of the most popular works suggesting that cannabis is part of the Bible is written by the Polish etymologist Dr. Sula Benet. The original Hebrew word Kaneh Bosm should be etymologically related to what we now call cannabis. It has mistakenly been translated as calamus, an other plant which are almost useless.
Holy Anointing Oil Recipe.
This anointing oil recipe is found the Bible in Exodus 30:23.
Myrrh"five hundred shekels" (about 1 gallon).
Cinnamon "two hundred and fifty shekels".
Calamus "two hundred and fifty shekels".
Cassia "five hundred shekels".
Olive Oil "an hin" (about 1 1/3 gallons).
Florida needs MMJ http://www.unitedforcare.org/sign_up?recruiter_id=2300.

Joao De Nacimiento
Joao De Nacimiento

It's still a third degree felony to smoke weed out of a pipe or a bong.

Maria Gabriela Ferrer
Maria Gabriela Ferrer

I wonder if voters outside of Miami Beach would be able to vote on this or if its only on Mia Bch ballots??? VOTE!!!!!!

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Require a doctor's prescription, that way the losers aren't abusing the intent of a medical necessity. No smoking as a delivery system for THC. A pill to be ingested only.

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

I really don't care what the law becomes. If you are impaired I simply don't want you around me. I don't discriminate pot/THC from any other drug, that includes alcohol. Respect that much space for others. And if it's truly medicinal purposes, there are better ways to deliver THC, smoking it is just as bad as smoking tobacco. Abusing it for recreational purposes is not acceptable. I wonder how many would need a doctor or even get one to prescribe a medical necessity dosage ?

Rose Lehmann
Rose Lehmann

Please don't fuck this up, Miami Beach....

knowa1
knowa1 topcommenter

This past Sunday at a gathering of family and friend I presented the petition and I agree 


this petition leave out allot because it does not allow for home grows which will put many 


unable to afford it. But what got me, was not the ones in their 80's but one the family 


members who was bragging about all the money she is making as a psychologist until I 


confronted her about legalizing medical and she was against it when we have partaken many 


times in the past, when it downed on me court ordered rehab. When given the choice prison or 


Rehab, what would you pick? Drug rehab is as much as 80% of her business. 

this is only one of the many high paying prohibition jobs out there that straddles family's 


with debt and ruination. Its a civil rights issue to me but with so many sick and dying 


people in Florida that could benefit from medical cannabis, if it were not for selfish and 


ignorant reasons they block it.

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