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Speaker Oliva Up on Free-Market, Down on Smokable Medical Marijuana

February 1, 2019 - 9:00am

He’s not calling it a cartel, as Gov. Ron DeSantis did.

But House Speaker José Oliva acknowledged this week that the state’s “vertically integrated” medical marijuana system --- which requires operators to grow, process and dispense cannabis and related products --- “isn’t terribly free market.”

“I couldn’t possibly be a defender of free markets and call that structure a free market,” the Miami Lakes Republican, who made his fortune in the cigar business, told reporters Wednesday at an Associated Press event at the Capitol.

DeSantis Still on Board with Ending Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban

January 30, 2019 - 9:30am

Gov. Ron DeSantis still wants to eliminate Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, but he’s walked back his opposition to a state system that resulted in what the new governor this month called a cannabis “cartel.”

Speaking to reporters following Tuesday’s state Cabinet meeting, DeSantis reiterated his insistence that the Legislature do away with the smoking prohibition, saying it “ran afoul” of a 2016 voter-approved constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

Weekly Roundup: Quickly Moving On

January 26, 2019 - 6:00am

“One of the hallmarks of our republic is the electorate’s trust in our elections.”

Those were the words written by Mike Ertel in a memo to his boss, Gov. Ron DeSantis, just a week before he was forced to quit his job as secretary of state after a newspaper published photos of Ertel wearing blackface while dressed up for Halloween in 2005 as a female Hurricane Katrina victim.

Five Questions for ACLU Florida's Micah Kubic

January 22, 2019 - 6:00am
Micah Kubic

Micah Kubic faced what he called the “terrifying” challenge of replacing Howard Simon as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida late last year.

Weekly Roundup: Calling 'Em Like He Sees 'Em

January 19, 2019 - 6:00am
Ron DeSantis

He’s been on the job for just a handful of days, but Gov. Ron DeSantis has already burnished his brand as a no-nonsense chief of state asserting his authority via pink slips, ultimatums and generally rocking the boat from one end of the state to the other.

DeSantis Presses Lawmakers for Medical Marijuana Changes

January 18, 2019 - 6:00am

Saying they failed to heed the will of voters, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Florida lawmakers Thursday to eliminate a ban on smokable medical marijuana and, if they don’t comply, threatened to drop the state’s appeal of a court ruling that found the prohibition ran afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment.

Medical Marijuana Foot-Dragging Likely to End under DeSantis

January 15, 2019 - 6:00am

With one of his chief advisers tweeting the hashtag “NoSmokeIsAJoke,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he will “very soon” announce changes in how the state is carrying out a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

DeSantis, a Republican, said many voters believe the state has been “foot dragging” in implementing the amendment, largely bankrolled by Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan and approved by more than 71 percent of voters in 2016.

Weekly Roundup: Flexing Some Executive Muscle

Brenda Snipes Denied Due Process, Says Judge

January 10, 2019 - 6:00am
Brenda Snipes on Wednesday

Pointing to a denial of due process, a federal judge Wednesday ordered Gov. Ron DeSantis to give former Broward County elections chief Brenda Snipes the opportunity to tell her side of the story after former Gov. Rick Scott stripped her of the job.

Court Digs into Marijuana Smoking Ban

January 9, 2019 - 6:00am

Newly minted Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated he may drop the state’s appeal of a court decision that said a Florida law banning patients from smoking medical marijuana is unconstitutional.




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