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Posts Tagged ‘legalization’

In the news – Florida medical marijuana amendment

Tomorrow is a big day for medical marijuana in the state of Florida.

Tomorrow, the Florida Supreme Court justices will hear arguments about a proposal that will *fingers crossed* appear on the November 2014 ballot – a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.

Eight out of 10 Florida voters support medical use of marijuana according to a recent poll, and as long as sponsors reach 700,000 validated voter signatures by February 2014, the proposal will appear on the November 2014 ballot.

What is there to argue about, then? Two issues: whether ballot language is accurate, and whether the proposal encompasses a single subject. The state GOP leaders and others critical of a medical marijuana amendment believe the language would lead to more recreational use of marijuana rather than just being used to treat critical illness. They also argue that it is too broadly written to fit the “single subject” requirement.

Despite the opposition, the proposal has garnered enough popularity to become a hot issue in Florida. Supporters like former House Speaker Jon Mills, trial lawyer and major funder John Morgan, and several policy groups have been vocal in their arguments in favor of the amendment, appealing to the public’s sensitive side. According to an article in the Herald Tribune, Morgan appeared in a radio ad with the following quote:

“Medical marijuana has been proven to give our loved ones relief they need, helping with pain, appetite, seizures and spasms. Unfortunately, Tallahassee politicians refused to vote on the issue last session. They wouldn’t even hear testimony from patients and their families. Therefore, we will take this act of mercy to you, the people.”

What will the outcome be? Only time will tell! We’re rooting for you, Florida.


Weekend Netflix Movie Selection #3

Welcome to our third and final Netflix movie selection for the weekend! The 2012 documentary The House I Live In received high praise from critics and won several awards, including Best Documentary at Sundance. Director Eugene Jarecki, known for Freakonomics and Why We Fight, takes a closer look at America’s War on Drugs and how it’s affecting individuals, subcultures and ultimately the nation.

The House I Live In is a little different from the other two movies we selected for your weekend entertainment. First, the tone is more serious and the content more grim. It’s the opposite of boring, but you can expect a darker vibe than the others. Secondly, The House I Live In doesn’t focus on marijuana legalization, but rather looks at the history of the War on all Drugs in America and its political and cultural implications. So…put your thinking caps on.

Jarecki’s inspiration for the film originated with one story: that of his childhood nanny in New Haven, Connecticut. While she worked and even moved with the family to support her children, her son became involved in hard drugs and contracted HIV from needle use. While this sounds like a simple snapshot, Jarecki uses this story as a starting point, and goes on to explore how the War on Drugs is ultimately hurting poor communities rather than helping.

The House I Live In also traces America’s history of drug prohibition. Before the turn of the 20th century, there were no illegal drugs. Housewives in the south had an affinity for opium. Hemp was once a required crop on Virginia plantations. Each drug was made illegal for various reasons, usually socio-political and often racial.

While this film may not be a plea to legalize marijuana or all drugs, it does shed a surprising light on the media propaganda and political motivations behind the drug war in America. Definitely worth a watch!

Don’t forget about Super High Me and The Union – if you haven’t seen them yet, it may be time for a legalization marathon!

Weekend Netflix Movie Selection – “The Union”

The Union: The Business Behind Getting High

When’s the last time you flipped through Netflix trying unsuccessfully to make a decision? Is that just us?

If you’re looking for a Friday night flick or a Sunday afternoon movie to relax you this weekend, we have some suggestions. Netflix Instant has a few fascinating documentaries to stream that will both entertain and inform you. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll tell you about a few of them.

The first is called The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, a 2007 documentary by Canadian filmmaker Brett Harvey. Its premise is that of the illegal marijuana trade industry in Canada, which commands about $7 million annually and sends 85% of product to the United States. In this framework, host Adam Scorgie explores the history of marijuana, its path to becoming contraband, and the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind the fight against legalization.

Most interesting, perhaps, is how Scorgie exposes the rhetoric of politicians, lawmakers, and the media used to misrepresent marijuana, as well as their motives, which are sometimes corrupt and sometimes simply uneducated. He then reveals scientific research and basic facts about the effects of Cannabis, ultimately arguing for its legalization.

Some of the questions he addresses:

  • Why is marijuana illegal?
  • What health risks are involved?
  • Is prohibition effective?
  • What would happen if we taxed it?

Featuring interviews with acclaimed medical doctors, lawyers, analysts, and famous tokers (including Tommy Chong of the famous duo), The Union makes its case convincingly while giving us great perspective on the history and scope of marijuana legalization in the United States and Canada.

Educate and entertain yourselves this weekend, and then let us know what you think of The Union!