Friday, November 22, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 11.22.13: Floridians want medical marijuana

But will they get the chance to vote on it?

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM

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A Quinnipiac poll released yesterday shows that an overwhelming number of Floridians polled - 82 percent - support allowing medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. Even more interestingly, a narrow majority (48-46 percent) prefer that Florida go all out à la Washington and Colorado and legalize the herb straight out.

But will Florida voters actually get the opportunity to vote on the measure a year from now? The concern isn't so much Attorney General Pam Bondi's belief that the measure is unconstitutional — the Florida Supreme Court will soon rule on that and it would be shocking if they agreed with Ms. Bondi. No, the concern has to be will John Morgan and company get the 683,149 valid signatures submitted to the state's Division of Elections in early February?

The group has over 200,000 signatures so far, a good start. But they need to seriously ramp up their efforts with just a little over two months remaining to get to the promised land. No matter how you analyze it, it's not a given at this moment that the measure will be on the November 2014 ballot.

CL's Arielle Stevenson has a story in this week's paper on the effort. Interestingly, we wonder if the measure does make it on the ballot, will Democrat George Sheldon use the measure's popularity as he campaigns against Bondi next year in the race for AG (that is, if Sheldon makes it out of the primary, where he's opposed by Perry Thurston)?

St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman's transition team met for the first time on Wednesday night. We've got all the details.

Speaking of St. Pete, Kriseman talked during the campaign about tightening up the police department's controversial car chase policy. Some activists in South St. Pete yesterday say the problems with the SPPD when it comes to dealing with some young black men go well beyond that issue.

And earlier this year we reported on the outrage amongst the community in the Bloomingdale area in East Hillsborough County about a proposed development that seems to have been allowed without any consent by the locals. They're now suing, as CL contributor George Niemann reports.

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