Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced In Florida Senate and House

Miami-area State Sen. Larcenia Bullard has fired up a big ol' blunt of legislative reform this morning, as her proposal to give Florida voters a chance to legalize medical marijuana was introduced in the Senate. Bullard's bill joins a similar proposal by Lake Worth Rep. Jeff Clemens in the House -- the first time in decades that both Florida chambers have had marijuana reform bills at the same time, pot advocates say.

"This is the first time since 1978 that cannabis advocates will have a sustained presence in the legislature," Jodi James, director of the Florida Cannabis Action Network, tells the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Take that landmark with a grain of salt, though -- there doesn't seem to be much chance of either bill even making it to a committee vote.

"(It's) a sham," Republican Sen. Steve Oelrich tells the Herald-Tribune.

Both the House and the Senate resolution would put the legalization of medical pot into the hands of voters, adding a statewide referendum later this year that would need 60 percent approval to pass.

Sixteen other states around the country have already legalized some uses of marijuana; Miami Beach advocates recently collected enough signatures to force a vote on whether to decriminalize small amounts of weed, although the city attorney is still contesting that referendum.

Either way, let's salute State Sen. Larcenia Bullard, who represents a huge district including southern Dade and all of Monroe County. As we wrote back in Oct. 2010, medical marijuana might yet save Florida's teetering economy.

Check out the House bill here and the Senate bill here.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Tim Elfrink writes about politics, crime and South Florida insanity @timelfrinkmia.

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