Is Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi a good doobie, or what?
Bondi is opposing a statewide citizens’ referendum to legalize medical marijuana.
The proposed ballot initiative by People United for Medical Marijuana would amend the state constitution to allow patients to use the banned herb for “debilitating diseases.”
But the Florida AG is arguing that supporters want to legalize cannabis for more than just medical reasons.
Bondi’s legal opinion is that the initiative does not reveal the “true meaning and ramifications” of putting medical marijuana on the ballot in the Sunshine State.
The Florida attorney general is making her argument against legalizing pot for patients as she forwards the referendum to the state Supreme Court for review, as required by law.
Attorney John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan is representing the pro-medical marijuana group pushing for the initiative. He contends that the Legislature would oversee sales of cannabis through a joint process of licensing and regulations.
More this morning:
Conventioneers trump koalas: The baby African elephants and Queensland koala at Lowry Park Zoo could lose out to the partying conventioneers who visit the Tampa Bay area under a plan to shift tourist tax dollars away from several popular family attractions.
Hillsborough County’s Tourist Development Council is considering a proposal to reapportion tourism tax revenues to send more dollars to the Tampa Convention Center and Visit Tampa Bay.
But funds for the Straz Center, Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry would drop to nothing.
At issue is $1.1 million collected from hotel and motel rentals — the so-called bed tax.
The proposed shift aims to help the Tampa Convention Center, which needs $14 million in renovations.
CEOs of the nonprofits at risk of losing tax revenues are asking the Council not to jeopardize their organizations to make improvements at the 22-year-old convention center, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Amtrak upgrades: More people are riding the rails, with Amtrak reporting that its Silver Star Tampa route is experiencing an 8 percent increase in passengers over 2012.
Higher ridership is prompting Amtrak to add sleeping, dining, baggage and dormitory cars to a Tampa route that travels from New York to Tampa to Miami.
Amtrak is paying $298.1 million for 130 more rail cars, the Tampa Tribune reports.
Overall, long-distance train travel is up by 26 percent since 2006.