ALL THE EXPENSIVE WEED!: “Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan said he has pledges of up to $6 million — not including his own substantial checkbook — to back a proposed constitutional amendment going before voters in November that would allow doctors to order marijuana for patients with debilitating illnesses. Morgan, who largely bankrolled the petition effort that put Amendment 2 on the ballot, said Monday he is prepared to again unfold his own wallet to convince voters to support the proposal which, like all constitutional questions, requires 60 percent approval for passage. “We’ve got people coming from all over America to help us,” Morgan said in a telephone interview from New Hampshire. “I’ve got at least $6 million committed as of today, without more money from me. I believe we’re going to be able to do it.” Renewed support from Morgan — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s boss and close friend — comes as opponents of the measure, aided by Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and supporter of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, double down on efforts to kill it. Adelson, whose son Mitchell reportedly died of a drug overdose in 2005 and whose wife Miriam is a physician specializing in substance-abuse treatment, contributed $2.5 million to the “Drug Free Florida Committee,” one of two organizations lining up against the proposal. Morgan has contributed at least $3.75 million to People United for Medical Marijuana, a political committee supporting the amendment that has spent more than $5 million so far. Supporters of the amendment recently set up a new federal 501(c)4 committee that can keep its donors secret. But “Florida for Care” organizers say the group is focused on creating a regulatory framework for the amendment if it is approved.” (via News Service of Florida)
SO THE FACT THAT WE DIDN’T LIE OR CHEAT AS HARD AS WE COULD HAVE MEANS THAT WE WON’T QUESTION THE JUDICIARY. CARRY ON: “Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford today issued the following joint statement regarding the recent court decision issued by Judge Terry Lewis on the Florida Congressional map. “We respect the deliberative and thorough manner in which Judge Lewis approached the trial on the Florida Congressional map. “While the court directed that Congressional Districts 5 and 10 be redrawn, the court rejected the Plaintiffs’ challenge to eight other districts, thereby upholding 25 of 27 congressional districts statewide and leaving intact the vast majority of the actions taken by the Legislature. “The Legislature does not presently intend to initiate an appeal of the Court’s decision and will redraw the boundaries of Congressional Districts 5 and 10. “Today, we have asked Judge Lewis to clarify, as a legal and practical matter, that his decision does not affect the administration of the 2014 election. According to federal law, over 63,000 Florida military and overseas voters are already casting absentee ballots based on the current Congressional map. Next week, hundreds of thousands of printed absentee ballots will be mailed to in-state voters. Any attempt to change the districts at this late stage of the 2014 elections process would cause chaos and confusion and would threaten the rights of our deployed military voters. It has been the practice in other states and in Florida to remedy maps at a future election so as not to disrupt and disenfranchise voters. We believe such action is appropriate and is in the best interest of Florida, and particularly our deployed military servicemen and servicewomen, who are casting their votes now.” (via Saint Petersblog)
UBERX WILL EAT YOUR BABY, AND OTHER REGULATORY LIES. AT LEAST THEY MAY BE FIXING IT DOWN IN MIAMI: “They’ve been likened to mobsters, called criminals who should be thrown in the slammer and had their cars seized in undercover stings. But soon, the renegade drivers in Miami-Dade County for ride-for-hire services Lyft and UberX could become something their adversaries can hardly fathom: legal. A county commissioner has proposed overhauling regulations to allow the startups to operate — as they have been doing, in rogue fashion, for more than a month — without the threat of fines and car impoundings. The legislation, by Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, is scheduled for a preliminary vote Tuesday. Final passage is far from certain, Bovo said Monday, because it would require approval from a four-member transportation and aviation committee Monday, because it would require approval from a four-member transportation and aviation committee that he sits on which has deadlocked on major reforms to benefit UberX and Lyft. “Obviously it’s going to go to a very difficult committee that has shown no desire to move forward,” he said. “But there’s been nothing progressive, no conversation that has warranted positive engagement. I’d hate to see that debate never happen.” Hearings on how to deal with the companies, which use smartphone applications to bring together freelance drivers and passengers, have turned into hours-long affairs where Lyft and UberX promote their lucrative business and the established taxicab industry cries foul. Last week, a workshop on the issue lasted more than three hours. Two days later, the transportation committee delved into it for another 90 minutes. More than once, speakers infuriated at UberX and Lyft for launching operations in violation of the county legal code called the companies and their drivers outlaws.” (via Miami Herald)
STRANGE FRUITS FROM A FORGOTTEN TOWN OF TREES: “Two police officers are no longer with the city department here after a law enforcement report tied them to the Ku Klux Klan, an official said Monday. Deputy Chief David Borst resigned and Officer George Hunnewell was fired last week, City Manager Gary La Venia said. The link surfaced in a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement based on information from the FBI, which learned about the connection during a broader investigation, La Venia said. He didn't know what it was focused on. Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokewoman Gretl Plessinger said she couldn't say what was in the report since it is "active intelligence." An FBI spokesman in Jacksonville didn't immediately respond to a voicemail. The State Attorney's Office told city officials that pending cases from the officers will be reviewed, although Borst's job was primarily administrative and didn't involve much patrolling, La Venia said. The city of 5,000 residents is located about 40 miles northwest of Orlando. Fruitland Park was once known for its citrus groves and is in Lake County, where KKK violence in the 1940s and 1950s was chronicled in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Devil in the Grove." (via Huffington Post)
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