On November 4, Florida may become the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana. I certainly never think of FloriDUH as a trend leader and, in this case, we'd be in the middle of the pack. But that's certainly better than dead last or bringing up the rear as is usually the case.
On the ballot on election day, Floridians will get to vote yes or no on constitutional amendment 2: Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions.
Although many groups and factions got together to make this dream a reality, United for Care led the charge in the petition drive, and garnered the almost 1 million signatures necessary to get the amendment on the ballot.
Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, joined me on the show this morning to talk about the amendment as we near the final test- the Nov. 4 elections!
88 percent of voters support the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, while 10 percent do not. Those attitudes were unchanged from May, but support was six percentage points up from November.
The levels of support among different demographic groups is surprising due to the great numbers.
And most are. But not Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. The congresswoman from Weston who also chairs the DNC is at odds with her base, her party and her constituents.
Not only does she oppose Amendment 2, putting her in league with her Republican friends, but she was one of only 17 Democrats, mostly Blue Dogs or the equally reprehensible "New Dems," to vote against a measure to cut funds for Drug Enforcement Agency raids on medical marijuana operations in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Wasserman Schultz, up for re-election in November, has criticized Florida's ballot initiative, saying it is written too broadly and does not ensure strong regulatory oversight.
"My view is that approval of the use of marijuana as a medical treatment should be handled responsibly and in a regulated manner that ensures its approval does not do more harm than good," she said on her website.
Perhaps someone should ask if her opposition to to ending marijuana prohibition is at all related to her support of the private prison industry.
[Wasserman-Schultz] initially called a town hall meeting to allow residents to voice their opposition and learn more about the project. After more than 250 people showed up to let CCA and the town council know they didn’t want a private prison, Wasserman, who had called the meeting, decided she would support the project.
Howie Klein, a regular contributor to this program, wrote about Wasserman-Schultz' cozy relationship with the private prison industry at DownWithTyranny back in 2012. Just sayin'.
When the questioning got to Charlie Crist (who apparently supports Amendment 2, though his representatives haven't responded to numerous interview requests from me), Mike alluded to Charlie's wife not having much influence over him, as it's believed by most who have done any research on Crist's private life that he's a closeted gay man. (A bit of background here, should you care to go down that road.)
We certainly don't shy away from controversy here. I have no problem with whatever Crist does in the privacy of his bedroom, but when he works against the LGBT community and is ashamed of who he is, then I do have a problem. And yes, I'll be voting for Nan Rich in the gubernatorial primary.
Ellen Ratner called in with an update from the Talk Radio News Service, and let us know that she's headed back to South Sudan next week. Should you care to help the people there, visit the charity site Ellen put together, Goats for the Old Goat.
And finally, Anat Shenker-Osario joined me for the last segment of the show to tell us about a new study she published along with pollster Celinda Lake and the Center for Community Change: Redefining the way we talk about poverty.
You can and should read the brief of their findings here, check out Anat's book, Don’t Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense About the Economy, and listen to the interview. I find the topic fascinating!
We'll be back tomorrow with another show, talking about the over population of the planet with Stephanie Feldstein of the Center for Biological Diversity.
Plus Amy Simon with some fabulous female facts, and Stephen Goldstein with the "No More Bullshit Minute," and whatever else the day brings us... radio or not!