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Medical marijuana debate is April 17 at SPC-Seminole

Published Apr. 11, 2014

SEMINOLE — The issue of legalizing medical marijuana will be debated at the next Village Square program of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College.

The program —"Medical Marijuana: Is Florida Going to Pot?"— will be held from 6 to 8:15 p.m. Thursday in the Conference Center of the Seminole campus, at 9200 113th St. N.

With the Florida Supreme Court's 4-3 ruling Jan. 27 that a proposed amendment meets all requirements to go on the Nov. 4 ballot, the stage was set for a heated campaign on whether Florida should legalize use of marijuana for health reasons. The proposed amendment, if approved by 60 percent of voters, would permit Florida doctors to approve the use of marijuana by "individuals with debilitating diseases" for whom the benefits would outweigh the risk.

Speaking in favor of the amendment will be Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, the organization behind the initiative petition campaign. Speaking against will be Carlton E. Turner, the "drug czar" under President Ronald Reagan. Presenting the point of view of law enforcement will be Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

Registration for Village Square members and educators is $25; guests, $30; and students, $20. To register online, go to and click on the Village Square tab. To register by mail, send a check to the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions, P.O. Box 13489, St. Petersburg, FL 33733.

For information, call (727) 394-6251.