Category Archives: Medical Marijuana

Bill On Tennessee Talks with Brien Soren 11/8/2015

Tallahassee attorney Bill Wohlsifer will talk with Brien about the ongoing effort to establish a Florida constitutional amendment legalizing the use of marijuana. As a board member of Sensible Florida, Bill will bring us up to date on the latest activities related to this effort. Listen live on the radio at a special day and time this Sunday, November 8th on Tallahassee’s Freedom93 WVFT 93.3FM from noon to 2pm. Or listen live on the web: http://www.freedom93fm.com/. Can’t listen live? No problem! Go to: http://www.live365.com/stations/alcomentertainment Saturday night at 9:30pm. Available as a podcast too. Go to http://www.tallahasseetalks.com/listen/pod/.

 

November 7th 2015 – Bill Wohlsifer, local attorney and Skip Foster, Tallahassee Democrat Publisher

Two Florida marijuana legalization measures approved for signature-gathering – Aug 27, 2015

This article was originally written by Michael Pollick on August 27, 2015and posted on heraldtribune.com

Two voter initiatives to legalize marijuana in Florida have been approved by the state’s Division of Elections, clearing the way for their sponsors to attempt the Herculean task of gathering 683,149 verifiable voter signatures apiece.

A very straight-forward proposal backed by some of the state’s best-known cannabis activists, Parrish residents Bob and Cathy Jordan, would simply make marijuana legal.

“The amendment guarantees the right of persons over twenty-one years of age to possess, use and cultivate cannabis (commonly referred to as marijuana),” the ballot summary states.

The measure, “Right of Adults to Cannabis,” would reserve to the state the power to regulate the plant’s purchase and sale in the interest of health and safety.

“Yes, we are affiliated with it, and this is the one we will get behind,” Bob Jordan said.

While that measure is short and sweet, taking just a few sentences to convey, a separate proposal called “Regulate Florida” is highly detailed and takes up four pages.

Regulate Florida’s primary author is Tallahassee attorney Bill Wohlsifer. The proposed amendment “is very comprehensive. It doesn’t leave that much for the Legislature to do,” Wohlsifer said.

“Regulate Florida” would legalize adult growing, consumption and possession of cannabis but also would turn marijuana into a legal, regulated product in Florida, much like alcohol. It would be legal for adults 21 or older to own up to an ounce of marijuana, grow up to six plants within their own residence, or give away marijuana to someone else.

If approved, the measure would set a July 2017 deadline for Florida state government to begin licensing and regulating commercial grocers, processors and retailers.

The Florida Legislature is likely to weigh in on taxes and fees on any proposed constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana.

The obstacles

To be sure, to become a constitutional ballot initiative, either Regulate Florida or “Right of Adults to Cannabis” has major obstacles in front of it, just like those faced by the United for Care, which has resurrected its medical marijuana initiative and is aiming for November 2016 ballot boxes.

After gathering the first tenth of the required voter signatures (68,314 out of 683,149), the groups must turn the initiative over to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi for review. She is likely to turn it over to the Florida Supreme Court, as occurred with last year’s proposed medical marijuana amendment. Assuming the court finds the ballot language acceptable, the Regulate Florida group will then go after the rest of the signatures required.

Once the issue is on the ballot, either legalization plan would likely need a multimillion-dollar war chest pay for TV ads promoting its cause.

The lineup for 2016 legalization initiatives is getting longer, and the pool of funding for such ventures is limited.

“We are going to have adult legalization in California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine,” said Kris Krane, co-founder and managing partner at 4Front Advisors, a cannabis consulting firm. “When looking at the landscape in 2016, my concern would be the movement is spreading itself very thin.”

“They’re going to need $10 million if they are going to do this right in Florida,” Krane said. “If they’re going to be successful in pulling something like this off, they are going to need to find donors who are in Florida and interested in doing this in their state.”

Some specifics

Where “Right of Adults to Cannabis” is open-ended as to the amount each household could grow, “Regulate Florida” is very specific and limiting in this regard.

Under “Regulate Florida,” adults would be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants within their own primary residence, “provided that the growing takes place in an enclosed, locked space, is not conducted openly or publicly, and the cannabis so grown is not made available for sale.”

In a further limitation, the amendment would specify that three or fewer of the plants could be mature or flowering plants.

Chairing the Regulate Florida group is Michael Minardi, a Stuart-based defense attorney specializing in cannabis cases. He successfully defended the Jordans in 2013 after Bob Jordan was charged with growing marijuana on behalf of his wife, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Floridians for Freedom, the group the Jordans now back, is based in Melbourne, and is chaired by Jodi K. James.

Both of these two legalization efforts are in the process of getting their websites cranked up for public viewing: RegulateFlorida. com and FloridiansForFreedom.com.

Four states plus the District of Columbia have legalized adult use of marijuana, typically with the same kind of limits included in the Regulate Florida petition. Ohio voters will consider legalizing marijuana in November. Nevada’s voter initiative will appear on ballots in November 2016. The other states, such as California, are still raising money and fine-tuning their language.

Libertarian Attorney General Candidate Campaigning for Cannabis

Libertarian Attorney General Candidate Campaigning for Cannabis

August 27, 2014 By

Bill Wohlsifer is the Libertarian Party of Florida’s candidate for state Attorney General. Wohlsifer, a former Republican who joined the Libertarian Party after Ron Paul conceded the 2012 Republican presidential primary, is now running his campaign for Attorney General with a platform dedicated to the legalization of medical cannabis and industrial hemp. “There is a big difference from what my office would look like, compared to my opponents,” Wohlsifer said….Read the Whole article at FloridaMarijuanaInfo.org

THE WEB OF CRONY CAPITALISM IS MUCH BIGGER THAN ‘CHARLOTTE’S WEB’

While Florida’s legislators present themselves as though they are acting with compassion to help children who suffer intractable epilepsy, many of the power player’s real objective is to capture market share for their crony friends of the huge marijuana business that is rapidly approaching Florida.  A close reading of SB 1030, ironically tilted the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014” a/k/a the “Charlotte’s Web Bill” reveals it sets the foundation to hand over Florida’s burgeoning marijuana industry to a select few friends of the establishment class.  Charlotte’s Web creates an anti-competitive platform under the guise of compassionate legislation and the Governor has stated his intent to sign it into law.

The proposed law requires that the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of the low level-CBD end-product shall solely be conducted by a single entity referred to as a “dispensing organization.” Under the proposed law there can be no more than five dispensing organizations, statewide. I predict there will be only one. This anti-competitive business model is referred to as “vertical integration.” Ironically, vertical integration is exactly what the Republican majority argued against when insisting that the craft brewery industry must use a three-tier level of distribution contending that would preserve competitive markets. This is what is known as hypocrisy.

It gets worse. Not only must a single entity be the sole grower, processor, manufacturer and distributor of the Charlotte’s Web strain of cannabis from the time it is planted in the soil until placed under the patient’s tongue as an oil, but in order to qualify as a dispensing organization the business must have been “a registered nursery in this state for at least 30 continuous years.” (See lines 185-194 from the proposed legislation inserted below.) I suggest this anti-competitive platform was accomplished purposefully to position a few crony capitalists (also known as democratic capitalists) to be handed the lion’s share of Florida’s marijuana business that will plant itself in our state following the passage of Amendment 2 to the Florida Constitution in November 2014. I further suggest, as I have been stating in my campaign appearances around the state, this was the Republican establishment’s endgame plan all along, despite political propaganda to the contrary. A thirty-year requirement to qualify for market access is unprecedented in any industry I am aware of and certainly has no rational basis to serve as a prerequisite to grow “weed.” Shame on those in the House who introduced and supported this 11th hour amendment.  A new industry that could create prosperity for so many Floridian entrepreneurs is being funneled to a select few.

My heart goes out to the families and patients who will be denied compassionate use because of this highly restrictive Charlotte’s Web bill, which only allows for use as an oil droplet for patients who demonstrate symptoms of seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms. Aside from the small population this oil will help, a million Floridians will be denied the healing benefits of other derivatives of the cannabis plant which could have been made available by passage of the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act (SB 962). When I wrote the original Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act in 2012, I purposefully included safeguards against anti-competition like we now see in 2014. The Republican leadership refused to advance the Cathy Jordan Act again this year. Yet they embraced this commercial market grab presently known as CS/CS/SB 1030, Enrolled.

This is the type of politicking and cronyism that inspired me to run for Florida Attorney General. I want to be in a position to protect the interests of ALL Floridians when the legislature has to meet its mandate to create law following the passage of Amendment 2 in November. I do not trust any of the ‘establishment candidates’ to protect the will of the voters where such a huge and profitable market is involved. On behalf of the parents who came to Tallahassee to plead for access to that which is available in 21 other states and D.C., I’m calling “foul” on our FL legislators.

In the 11th hour the following was added to the bill by 7th-generation Floridian, Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-Lehigh Acres:

185 . . . An applicant for approval as a

186 dispensing organization must be able to demonstrate:

187 1. The technical and technological ability to cultivate and

188 produce low-THC cannabis. The applicant must possess a valid

189 certificate of registration issued by the Department of

190 Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to s. 581.131 that is

191 issued for the cultivation of more than 400,000 plants, be

192 operated by a nurseryman as defined in s. 581.011, and have been

193 operated as a registered nursery in this state for at least 30

194 continuous years.

Wohlsifer, an attorney in Tallahassee, is now running for the office held by Attorney General Pam Bondi.  Wohlsifer has announced that he will pay the qualifying fee and is certain to be on the November ballot.

 

Matt Wright is a writer and political activist living in south Florida. He has a BS in communications and is currently working for the Bill Wohlsifer for Attorney General campaign. To hear more from Matt you can follow him on Twitter at @mrwright79 or Like him on Facebook.

FLORIDA LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL WOHLSIFER SAYS THANKS, BUT NO THANKS FOR MARIJUANA VOTE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 May 2, 2014                                                  

 

Florida Libertarian Party candidate for Attorney General Bill Wohlsifer publically thanks Speaker Weatherford for placing the House version of what is commonly referred to as the “Charlotte’s Web” bill (HB 843) on the calendar, in the 9th inning yesterday.  “If approved, Charlotte’s Web can bring relief to 125,000 children in Florida who suffer seizures from intractable epilepsy,” said Wohlsifer.  “We have a unique opportunity to help children as the state Senate has wisely realized.”  Wohlsifer released a public statement calling for this action on April 30.

“I am calling on Speaker Weatherford to resist the pressure from Governor Rick Scott who does not want to see this bill move,” said Wohlsifer.  “These children need help now.”

Wohlsifer, who also supports Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment that will legalize the use of medical marijuana in Florida, said he believed that the “Charlotte’s Web” bill had enough bipartisan support to pass the House if the Speaker would post it for a vote.  Yesterday, Wohlsifer was proven correct and the legislation is headed back to Senate with a “message” – a statement of the action taken on the bill in the House on the 59th day of the 60 day legislative session.

Charlotte’s Web refers to a non-euphoric strain of the cannabis plant. The Senate version, CS/CS/SB 1030, received overwhelming approval on April 28, 2014 (36-3).  Following certification in the Rules Committee Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, filed a House amendment to CS/CS/SB 1030, but Gaetz withdrew the amendment the next day, and another amendment by Matt Caldwell, R – Lehigh Acres, if ultimately approved, will add a “highly restrictive, anti-competitive” requirement to the bill according to Wohlsifer.

The Caldwell amendment requires that in order to qualify as a dispensing organization for the non-euphoric strain of cannabis, the applicant must demonstrate that it already possess a valid certificate of registration issued by the Department of Ag for the cultivation of more than 400,000 plants and that it has been continually operating as a registered nursery in Florida for at least the past 30 years.

“There is no rational basis for such an unprecedented requirement of three decades in the cultivation business to grow a simple grass. This is a blatant attempt to stifle free market competition in what is soon be the fastest growing industry in Florida,” Wohlsifer claims. “Crony capitalism is at work in the Sunshine State. The handful of nurseries that will be the only entities allowed to participate in growing this low-level THC strain of cannabis will be purposefully positioned with the first-mover advantage to corner the marijuana cultivation, processing and distribution markets when  Amendment 2 passes in November, which will mandate the growth of large assortment of cannabis sativa plants. Clearly, this bill, which was championed under the guise of helping the children, is a really a power-play at the market share for Florida’s future marijuana and industrial hemp businesses,” said Wohlsifer. There is no other logical explanation; surely, we do not need to demonstrate the ability to harvest two million plants to create an oil to drop under the tongues of 125,000 children.”

“Gaetz, along with Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, were the first to file a low-level THC bill in this year’s legislative session, HB 843, and with good intentions, Wohlsifer continued. The original bill was one-page long.” The metamorphosis of this legislation from compassionate use to big business is exactly the reason you need to elect a watchdog Attorney General in November. The same legislature that tabled four other real marijuana bills and falsely labeled this quasi-pharmaceutical bill a “marijuana bill” is composed of the same legislature that the voters will trust to implement the will of the voters when it comes time to create law to implement the rollout of Amendment 2.  As Attorney General, I will represent the will of the people when implementing Amendment 2, given that opportunity,” Wohlsifer concludes.

Inmate Release of Clemency

IROC (Inmate Release of Clemency) Bill’s Plan to Restore Liberty through Clemency 

The clemency function is an act of mercy that absolves an individual from all or any part of the punishment that the law imposes. This is a power to grant full or conditional pardons, or commute punishment. There are rules for these lengthy procedures, with the primary power being vested in the Governor, but for the requirement of approval of two cabinet members. The Rules of Executive Clemency can be viewed online at: https://fpc.state.fl.us/PDFs/clemency_rules.pdf

If elected Attorney General, I will initiate a process to restore liberty through clemency. I refer to the process as “IROC”– Inmate Release of Clemency. It is an act of mercy to right the wrong that prior administrations have bestowed upon many peaceful Floridians now serving time in state prisons for perceived victimless offenses against society. In many instances it is the mere possession of marijuana that resulted in their incarceration. In many instances the percentage of black males incarcerated is highly disproportionate to the population of the communities from which they have been removed.

Clemency is governed by Article IV, Section 8, of the Florida Constitution.  Section 8(a), which provides as follows:

Except in cases of treason and in cases where impeachment results in conviction, the governor may, by executive order filed with the custodian of state records, suspend collection of fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves not exceeding sixty days and, with the approval of two members of the cabinet, grant full or conditional pardons, restore civil rights, commute punishment, and remit fines and forfeitures for offenses.

The Attorney General cannot deviate from the Constitution, but can affect the manner in which constitutional law is implemented through the Rules of Executive Clemency, pursuant to Rule 2 of the Rules of Executive Clemency, which provides in pertinent part:

These rules were created by mutual consent of the Clemency Board to assist persons in applying for clemency. However, nothing contained herein can or is intended to limit the authority or discretion given to the Clemency Board in the exercise of its constitutional prerogative.

With the influence of the Attorney General’s seat on the Clemency Board, if elected, I pledge to propose additional language to Rule 5 of the Rules of Executive Clemency, Eligibility, to-wit: a new paragraph to be known as Rule 5(F). The purpose of Rule 5(F) is to modify application of Rule 4, Clemency. Proposed Rule 5(F) will provide as follows:

5. Eligibility

. . .

(F) In instances where the Office of Clemency Investigations finds, to the satisfaction of the Clemency Board, that the applicant for clemency was convicted of possession marijuana, without the intent to sell, and is serving time for no other conviction, and the adjudication of said conviction did not include an act of violence nor any identifiable, known or suspected victim, and the charging document filed of record does not include possession of a firearm at the time of arrest, the governor’s approval and the approval of two members of the cabinet to grant such applicant a full or conditional pardon, restoration of civil rights, and to commute punishment shall be deemed to be given. The de facto approval referenced in this section does not require the Clemency Board to accept the findings of the Office of Clemency Investigations. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to constitute the governor or any other cabinet member’s approval to grant full or conditional refund or return of any fines paid or personal property confiscated and subjected to forfeiture in conjunction with the pardoned offense.

If you are going to vote yes on Amendment 2 – You need to vote Wohlsifer for AG, and this is why:

WHEN YOU VOTE YES ON AMENDMENT 2,

 

VOTE WOHLSIFER FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

 

 

I am the only candidate for Attorney General in Florida that can be trusted to implement the will of the people when it comes time to create policy and law for the rollout of medical marijuana in Florida after Amendment 2 passes. Be careful! Amendment 2 leaves it to the bureaucrats and politicians to frame the law to implement the anticipated Constitutional mandate. The will of the people could easily be destroyed by allowing as little as one entity the right to marijuana cultivation, processing and sale to a single statewide entity; a political insider crony. It could even result in availability in nothing but a pill form brought to you by Big Pharma.

Amendment 2 itself does not allow for homegrown marijuana or even for smoking to medicate. In fact, the word “smoke” is not included in the proposed Amendment, at all, but for a single reference that, “Nothing in this section shall require any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any place of education or employment, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place.”

When I authored the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act I did so with the intention of real patient care, including homegrown, legal possession of up to 16 plants, waiver of confiscation and forfeiture laws, implementation through licensing fees, no out of state imports, no specified excise taxes, no requirement for a caregiver for ages 18 and older and no caregiver requirement for emancipated minors or married Floridians under age 18.

Here’s the thing, after the Amendment is passed, you, the voter, are out of the planning stage. The lawmakers, agency directors, bureaucrats, rule-promulgators, and law enforcement will take it from there. The state officers will turn to the Florida Attorney General for official legal opinions on questions of implementation of law, creation of new fiscal markets, consumer protections, retailer protections, physician defenses, driver impairment disparities, how to navigate around federal law, and more. The legal opinions of Florida’s next Attorney General will significantly impact the rollout of medical marijuana in Florida. Caution: Our incumbent Attorney General’s understanding of the marijuana culture is about equal to that of Bill O’Reilly’s.

While I, Bill Wohlsifer was drafting and lobbying for medical marijuana law in Florida, Democratic candidate for Florida Attorney General, George Sheldon, was serving (2011-2013) as Assistant Secretary to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. George resigned after the unprecedented failed rollout of the Affordable Care Act and his former boss, Sec. Sebeilus, resigned on April 11, 2014. You, the people, worked too hard on getting medical marijuana on the ballot. Indeed, if the Republican led legislature did not bury the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act in committee in 2013, we would not even have had the need for a ballot initiative. We have come too far to trust any other candidate with the rollout of Amendment 2. WHEN YOU VOTE YES ON AMENDMENT 2, VOTE WOHLSIFER FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL.

Do not let George Sheldon rollout medical marijuana law in Florida. Do not let Pam Bondi chill it and kill it. Elect me, Bill Wohlsifer, to be your next Attorney General. I pledge to implement compassionate medicinal access to marijuana, open market competition for this new and vibrant industry, removal of industrial hemp from Florida’s controlled substance list. And, under my proposed Inmate Release of Clemency (IROC) plan, I pledge to restore liberty through clemency and to release and reunite with their families, inmates serving time for non-violent, victimless marijuana possession. WHEN YOU VOTE YES ON AMENDMENT 2, VOTE WOHLSIFER FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL.

 

By, Bill Wohlsifer, Florida’s first Libertarian candidate for Attorney General

Medical marijuana bill re-introduced in Florida

“…Florida Attorney General candidate Bill Wohlsifer said:

Senator Jeff Clemens stepped up to the plate in 2011 and he just keeps on swinging. But this time he has public opinion on his side; finally. Today in the Capitol rotunda I observed patients, their family and friends speak in support of Sen. Clemens and Rep. Joe Saunders’ reintroduction of the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act. They told their stories of how systemic marijuana use has cured an illness or revitalized a patient’s standard of living and asked their legislators to not treat these patients as criminals. The last time I was in the Capitol Building concerning the CJMCA (which I wrote in 2012) I was there, along with Mrs. Jordan and Jodi James, to join Rep. Katie Edwards in a press conference announcing that the proposed bill had died in committee under Republican leadership, without debate, during the 2013 legislative session. Today, I witnessed overwhelming support for this common sense bill. What a difference a year makes. Issues that Libertarians have supported since 1972, such as same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana have finally found their way into Florida’s political debate.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/medical-marijuana-bill-re-introduced-florida

Pam Bondi Disregards U.S. Marijuana Patent Showing Medicinal Benefits

How can any logical person read the claims made in U.S. Patent 6630507 and not see the hypocrisy of the federal government’s prohibition against medicinal use, when the U.S. itself attests to its efficiency to treat many known diseases?

The U.S. owns the patent to medical marijuana. They (we) obtained the patent in 2003, when the U.S. DHSS government found “cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases such as; ischemia, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune. The cannabinoids are found to have particular applications as Neuro-Protectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and traumatic injury. It has also had an impact in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil (CBD), are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.” Paraphrased from the text of the Abstract of the US Patent, Please see for yourself at: USTPO

Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I (the most restrictive) drug under section 893.03(1), Florida Statutes (2013). A drug is classified for Schedule I of Florida’s controlled substance list if scientific evidence shows that the drug: 1) has a high potential for abuse; 2) has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and 3) its use under medical supervision does not meet accepted safety standards.

Section 893.0355(2), Florida Statutes, delegates authority to the Florida Attorney General “to adopt rules rescheduling specified substances to a less controlled schedule, or deleting specified substances from a schedule . . . .” On December 12, 2012,

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, responding to petitions received from the Cannabis Action Network (CAN), flatly refused to reschedule marijuana or to even consider the proposal. If I am elected to the Office of Florida Attorney General, I will use the power vested in that office to remove marijuana for medicinal purposes from Schedule I. I tried to do this when I drafted the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act, which the Republicans buried in committee. Elect Bill Wohlsifer for Attorney General, and I will get it done, without the need to amend the constitution or lobby the legislature. Now ask yourselves, how could Pam Bondi read U.S. Patent 6630507 and not find sufficient support in favor of rescheduling?

By Bill Wohlsifer

Sources:

United States Patent and Trademark Office (October 7,2003). uspto.gov.

Florida Legislature (December 24, 2013). leg.state.fl.us.

2012 Florida Statutes. Flsenate.gov.

Jodi James (December 12, 2012). Florida’s Attorney General Responds to FLCAN.

Florida House of Representatives (2013). HB 1139.

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Paid political advertisement by Committee to Elect Bill Wohlsifer, 1100 East Park Ave Ste B, Tallahassee FL 32301. Approved in advance by Bill Wohlsifer.