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COLUMN

Happytown

Mascot Gov. Rick Scott will be no challenge for CannonHair, the Holy Land turns 10 in secret and you'll never get high – legally – in Florida

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ma-scott: Florida’s new governor will make an excellent pocket friend


As we said good riddance to our ballots on Nov. 2 and arrived at the office, dropping into our chairs with a sigh, we opened our e-mail … to find a message about the 2012 ballot. For Christ’s sake! It was a press release from People United for Medical Marijuana – abbreviated PUFMM, for obvious reasons – based right here in Orlando, hailing the South Miami City Commission for passing a resolution urging both the feds and the state to decriminalize the medicinal use of marijuana.

The inconsequential news was really a vehicle to make us all high and make us all hit the political pavement for the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida – only 652,356 signatures to collect in the next year and half! Interestingly, we’re roughly halfway between the March 2009 date when the group started the campaign, and the Division of Elections’ Feb. 1, 2012, deadline. Currently, the total of verified scribbles stands at 24,455. So we called them to ask: Besides quitting pot, how are you going to do what you do 27 times faster?

By using paid signature collectors, coughed volunteer Josh Giesegh. He says PUFMM has been in contact with a company that says “if we give them a million dollars, they can guarantee a million signatures.” Giesegh couldn’t provide the name of the shadowy name harvester, but reminded us that all ballot initiatives do such things. (A call to PCI Consultants, the country’s largest “petition management firm,” hired by Fair Districts Florida to collect signatures for Amendments 5 and 6, went unreturned by press time.)

Although the initiative has only raised $28,716.93 to date, Giesegh says there’s more money waiting in the wings when they get to the Florida Supreme Court’s “credibility threshold” of 67,683 votes. But he also mentioned that Michigan took 14 years to get medical marijuana on the ballot – which, in weed years, is a really long time. So don’t hold your breath, Florida. Or do.

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