Marijuana: Florida Bill Would Toughen Penalties for Growing

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum (R), an inveterate drug warrior dating back to his days in the US Congress, and two hard-line state legislators have unveiled a bill for the 2008 state session that attempts to crack down on the Sunshine State's flourishing indoor marijuana growing industry. The bill, which is not yet available on the Florida legislature's web site, would dramatically decrease the number of growing plants needed to prosecute someone as a drug trafficker, a first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum three-year prison sentence.
McCollum press conference
Under current Florida law, growers can be charged as traffickers only if they grow more than 300 plants. Federal marijuana laws require 100 plants to trigger the equivalent offense. But under the "Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act," it would take only 25 plants to trigger a trafficking charge.

But there is more nastiness embedded in the measure. It would also create new penalties for those who own a house for the purpose of growing marijuana and those who live in the house or take care of the grow op. It would also ratchet up penalties for people who have both kids and a grow op, and ratchet them up even higher if the kids are three or under.

The bill is a response to an apparent explosion in marijuana grows in Florida. According to McCollum's press release announcing the measure, indoor grow ops were detected in 41 of Florida's 67 counties. The number of indoor grows busted in Florida ranks it second only to California, the release said.

The bill will not be heard until next spring's legislative session, but that didn't stop McCollum and his legislative and law enforcement allies from getting the ball rolling earlier this month. "As Florida's Attorney General, my priority is protecting our children and our communities from the devastation of illegal drugs," said McCollum. "This legislation targets those who grow marijuana for profit."

"Every time law enforcement can detect a grow house and arrest those involved with it, less crime will be on our streets," said cosponsor Senator Steve Oelrich (R-Gainesville), adding that the main purpose of this legislation is eliminating the spread of illegal drugs in Florida. "This legislation will provide law enforcement with critical tools to get these narcotics out of our kids' hands and put drug traffickers behind bars."

"In Florida, those who use grow houses to traffic drugs belong in prison," added Representative Nick Thompson (R-Fort Myers). "Under this legislation we are clearly telling drug dealers, 'if you grow, you go!'"

"Whether grown outdoors or in a garage, marijuana today is extremely potent and dangerous and the cultivation of this illicit drug will not be tolerated by DEA," chimed in Mark Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Miami Field Division.

With some months until the bill is actually considered, saner heads will have time to craft a response. It remains to be seen if they will emerge to do so.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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why dont they get it?

Their constituants are using marijuana in great numbers they should get the message
the people want marijuana legalized. They are wasting resources that could be used on more serious law enforcment problems! make it legal to grow your own and you kill the black market once the profit is gone the problem will go away.

That is correct,

I live in Miami. I witness the mis-allocation of resources. Imagine if 10% of the wasted effort could be redirected? How much greener the streets would be.

i agree with this guy no

i agree with this guy no matter how hard they try they wont be able to kill off the drugs the drugies will only get smarter and make more money by raising the price cause of the risk the laws should stop fuckin around with petty shit like pot and go after cocain and shit like that and as for pot being potent and dangerous then they should make cigerets illegal to cause pot does not really kill enles your driving etc. if you scale them the deaths are cleary more on cigs.

feds and cops and politians are rookies

I live in florida now but I used to live in san diego and san fransico and weed is legal under doctors perscription....hahah which i got and the fuzz couldnt do jack. many people I know grow for personal reasons.Selling is one thing, but when my brother has muscular dystrophy and insomnia and was perscribed it because his pain was to much and it helped him sleep on a good high. People become cops for 3 reasons. They were bullied as kids and want to get back at those who messed with them. Second, they want to feel inpowered and feel large and inlarge. Last, just to get people in trouble cause they have nothing else to do with their lives. Im sorry but the truth hurts and they all know as they sip on their coffee and donuts. Weed is grown natural on the soil of the earth. Politicians and feds are to consumed by greed and power that they dont see how weed helps people get through their lives and helps people with pain. and i really dont care if a cop see this cause its the truth. weed is a naturally grown plant. Not like acid or x were it is made..just like shrooms. another naturally grown item. but why should i have to worry about gettin caught with a grow house, im not stupid and i dont run my electric bill up. I let the earths soil and sunlight to do the magic outdoors.

Another Example of Government Persecution

Yet again the only answer must be Tougher, Longer sentences for those growing marijuana. Now only 25 plants will get you trafficking??

I am Federal Medical Marijuana Exemptee from Canada and I am permitted 35 plants for personal consumption. I think that 25 plants (which works out to approx. 5 grams per day) could easily be personal use only, but that isn't the point.

The real point is that the Overgrow the Government campaign is alive and well. The more grow-ops there are, the more resources they waste, the better! At some point they HAVE to realize how pointless it was, is and will continue to be to fight the Marijuana Revolution.

Oh, and by the way, for the 2nd time in 3 weeks a circuit judge in Ontario declared the marijuana laws NULL AND VOID because the government has STILL failed to implement a law governing safe access for all Canadians.

Technically these decisions are not binding because they are lower court decisions and only supreme court decisions are binding.That being said, there are slightly different interpretations becuase the subject is constitutional law.

The short version is that decisions based on consitutional decisions are binding regardless of the level of the court deciding the matter.

This is the point that most defense lawyers will hit on and because of the benign nature of most marijuana crimes, will be an easy way for judges to clear their courts and their conscience.

How can that be you ask?

Well, funny thing.

The sitting judge in the 2nd court decision was pressured by the crown attorney to render a decision after the defendant had asked for another continuance. It seemed that this request annoyed His Honor and he ruled in favor of the defendant based on prvious findings.

From: Doug Hutchinson (the pot head professor)
Date: Sep 30, 2007

"Justice Edmundston said that though he was not bound by the decision of Justice Borenstein (the two courts are 'parallel', viz. neither one issues judgements that are binding on the other), he was persuaded by it, and found that the law had fallen into invalidity.

The precise point at issue in the Borensten ruling (the case of R. v. Lord) is that the 2003 December standing order which made it a policy to supply Health Canada schwag to those of us who are medically authorized was only a policy. Being only a policy, it wasn't good enough protection for those whose rights need to be protected.

This means that the Medical Marijuana Access Regulations are unconstitutional and the entire prohibition falls."

Why don't y'all move North and truly enjoy Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness??

Peace and open arms,
James from Ontario

Beats me!!

The government has once again failed to grasp the futility of this so called "drug war" that they have been raging for damn near 100 years now. If they let people raise the plant for personal use instead of busting them for it, then the "pot" problem would soon fade into oblivion. Instead they want to spend a fortune of the taxpayers cash for something that has neither been or will be won, or even lessened. As long as there is a want then there will be a way to get it.

Weed or Bullets

How about protecting the little kiddies from bullets instead? In Orange County, FL , the murder and armed robbery rate gets worse and worse. Oh, well. I guess it's just easier to go after growers.
When they raid these grow houses they always find them empty, since they are rented specificly for this purpose. An easy bust, safer than shooting it out with thugs. Like they say, weed never killed anyone. It's nice to know the cops are protecting and serving us. From what, I don't know.

Protection racketeers

McCollum et al, are protecting big time mexican product importers (donators) from the $courge of local grower competition. The, once apon a time presidential impeachment proponent ,sure knows how to waste money...for the kids. Canada... sounds good but current political news reports from the north seem to be more prohibitive.

McCollum destroys lives and families.

Children and parents and families need to be protected from Bill McCollum and all the other insane prohibitionists that are destroying families and lives because of their insane and irrational fetishes about what other people consume.

Prohibitionists are monsters, just like witch burners, promoters of slavery, and Inquisitionists, and the day will come they, too, will be exposed for their ignorance and cruelty.

Godspeed the day!

Legalize Medical Marijuana Today ;-)~

I can think of nothing worse than the government wasting resources to fight Marijuana use in the US and all over the world. We could use the money for so many more important things like schools, helping those that need assistance, and cutting on the taxes we all pay these idiots. We all need to start voting for the people that will stop the War on Drugs and make our government work for us, not there own stupid agenda's!

Legalize Medical Marijuana Today and stop the War on Drugs NOW!!!!

Bill Text

It sure would be nice to see the text of that bill. Does it actually exist, or are they just taking shit?

Googlers: Where is the actual text?

The purpose of the bill is to increase the penalties for growing.

Why do its proponents think the bill will help them catch more offenders?

"Every time law enforcement can detect a grow house and arrest those involved with it, less crime will be on our streets," said cosponsor Senator Steve Oelrich (R-Gainesville),

Question: How does increasing the sentence better enable law enforcement to "detect" a grow house?

" ...adding that the main purpose of this legislation is eliminating the spread of illegal drugs in Florida. "This legislation will provide law enforcement with critical tools...."

And what might those "tools" be?

Is this bill hiding it's real motive... to give law enforcement more power over individual freedom?

We need more info.

legalize it, it does no

legalize it, it does no harm. let us grow our own and you take the money away from the issue. no money no criminals, including those employed by the government.

Yeah good idea [email protected]$$e$

Yeah the governent already spends enough money trying to stop somehting that can't be stopped. Did alchohol prohibition work ? NO. Will the WAR ON DRUGS ever ever ever ever be a success. HELL NO. What a great idea lock people up for longer amounts of time and WASTE MORE OF OUR GOD DAMN MOTHER FuCKING MONEY. What the fuck is wrong with our leaders? LOCK UP MURDERERS and theives! NOT PEOPLE THAT GROW WEED.

"Whether grown outdoors or

"Whether grown outdoors or in a garage, marijuana today is extremely potent and dangerous and the cultivation of this illicit drug will not be tolerated by DEA,"

Wow, just wow. Next are you going to tell us it causes people to snap and go insane, and dare I say it, become involved with beastiality after smoking marijuana (as earlier DEA ads have done). Are you going to come right out and say this will prevent gang rapes and blindness? I mean, come on, not all of your audience is as completely gullabel as you like like to believe. At least if you were telling the TRUTH in what you say, we might beleive the next LIE that comes out of your mouths. Extremely Dangerous is the term I would use on the people that break down the doors in black hoods with machine guns in the middle of the night...

are you serious?

the "war on drugs" will never be "solved" ...the only thing we can do is come to an agreement. wich will never happen because the government is so concerened with money.. DONT YOU GET IT THEY GET PAID MORE WHENEVER YOU GET ARESSTED FOR MARJIUANA. or anything else... and another thing why do are law enforcment officers who stand to "protect and serve" are rights have quotas that "need" to be met each month for a certain number of tickets? in my opinon we need to legalize medicinal marijuana.

Judge in Florida promoting LESSER punishments

It's about time the government got their heads out of each others asses! Please read the story below, it made my day!!!!!!!

Don Jones, a former municipal judge from Miami, spoke to members of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws at UCF on Wednesday regarding the necessity to change drug prohibition laws.

He was introduced by Justin Martineau, the president of NORML at UCF, as "the first man to serve in an integrated, post-Brown v. Board of Education court in the South," along with several other accomplishments.

Jones spoke on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and said it is an international nonprofit organization that gives voice to law enforcement.

"This is not a group that is somewhere that might be thought of as being outside the establishment," Jones said.

He said that LEAP is there to represent law enforcement ranging from FBI agents, corrections and parole officers, prosecutors, prison wardens, and the Drug Enforcement Agency, as well as others involved in the enforcement of various drug laws, who believe revision is necessary.

They want the laws they are working to revise, including marijuana laws, to be similar to those in European countries, he said.

"About 75 to 80 percent of the people we've talked to agree that the drug war has failed," said Jodi James, the speaker and bureau coordinator for LEAP.

The topics discussed ranged from the origin of marijuana laws, to who suffers because of the laws and why the laws need immediate reform.

"Majority groups in this country consume 72 percent of all the drugs that are imported into this country -72 percent," Jones said, quoting statistics from the LEAP Web site. "[Blacks] constitute 13 percent of all drug users in the country."

Jones said that, despite the low percentage of blacks who are drug users, 37 percent of those arrested for drugs are black, and over 42 percent of those in federal prison for drug violation are black.

"[Blacks] comprise almost 60 percent of those in prison for drug felonies," Jones said.

He said that there is a "general prejudice and fear about young, [black] males and particularly inner-city dwellers and poor people in general."

He said that judges are more likely to quickly sentence blacks to time in a federal prison for longer periods of time than any other race.

"We can't begin to deal with the problem unless we face it squarely," Jones said. "There is rampant, unbridled discrimination and drug prosecution in this country to discriminatorily put scores of [black] young men in jail and keep them there for long periods of time."

He went on to say that the prison population has doubled in the past 15 years and has done so "on the backs of young, [black] males."

After discussing civil rights on the topic, Jones touched on some reasons why the government needs to start changing its policies on prohibition laws.

"If you regulate and control drugs, you'll remove the profit motive," he said.

He said that by removing drugs from the black market, there is no longer an incentive to traffic them illegally.

Jones went on to say that the biggest problem for a drug user is laundering the money because of the drug dealers participating in money laundering.

Jones said another benefit to softer drug laws is that fewer citizens will want to start using drugs because the enticement factor will be lacking. Another benefit he mentioned is the avoidance of diseases by reducing needle-sharing in the use of drugs such as heroin.

Jones said that in Europe, especially in Holland, drug users tend to begin using at a later age. The reason for this, he and others believe, is the age-old belief that someone who is forbidden to do something will only want to do it more, while someone who's allowed to commit that act freely finds no excitement or risk in the behavior and is less likely to engage in it.

Jones said that harsh laws on drugs like marijuana seem nonsensical when "alcohol is the most dangerous drug in the country."

According to the national surveys of alcohol consumption, over a period of 30 days, 5 percent of the total population drank heavily, and 15 percent of the population engaged in binge drinking.

If prohibition were stopped, there would then be much less crime revolving around drugs and fewer police calls made to stop illegal drug trafficking. Fewer calls means fewer shootings and less violence, Jones said.

"In Washington, D.C., they found that the drug dealers had better weaponry than the police," he said. "We are wasting good men's lives."

Jones said that most police officers view the war on drugs as "wasteful."

He said: "It's foolish because it's not going to stop it. It's not going to stop the drugs from coming in. We haven't made a dent in the drugs coming into this country."

Jones talked about the money that's being poured into what he called the failing drug war.

About $69 billion has been spent on the war on drugs., he said. Jones asked the audience to consider what could be done with this money if it were not spent on the drug war.

At the end of the speech, Jones opened the floor to questions.

Austin Smith, a member of Students for a Democratic Society at UCF, asked Jones what he thought about those who would lose their jobs if the drug war ended.

"We could shift and re-train people to take care of the millions of people in this country with a drug problem," Jones said. "We could build the kinds of centers, like Europe, to treat these people, to counsel them, to bring them in, to provide a supervised, therapeutic setting for them."

Ben Fenton, a 20-year-old economics major and officer of NORML at UCF, asked: "What would be a good model for the distribution of drugs if [marijuana] was legalized?"

Jones said that the answer lies in Europe, once again.

"Probably the European model," Jones said. "Probably Holland, probably Germany."

Jones said that policies there make it possible for drug addicted people to receive drugs at a center, rather than going to the streets for them.

Another question was about what changes would be made if an ID was required to buy regulated marijuana.

Jones said it would be much harder to purchase marijuana if people needed an ID. As it stands right now, he said, "there's no age limit; there's no regulation; there's no control."

He said regulation and control "would make it far less attractive to young people."

Jones went on to say that he believes pharmaceutical companies, racism and preserving the liquor industry are what's keeping the drug war going.

James explained one instance in which she spoke on the topic of law enforcement against prohibition to a rotary club of 15 members and one main speaker, who all had a conservative standpoint.

"At the end of the day, 13 people joined LEAP," she said. "They didn't join because they support medical marijuana; they didn't join because they think it's a civil liberties issue. They joined because prohibition doesn't work."

Where is the text of this Bill

It just passed the Fla senate today 36-0 but i cannot find the text anywhere. looked at fla house website looked at fla senate website NOWHERE!!!! They are sneaking something past us and we are not allowed to know what it is.



Fuck FLORIDA... take notes as i take tokes, MOVE TO CALI


So we lower the laws for CRACK thats ok but know these idiots are targeting marajuana what ever is making the money at that time in life they change the laws and we as people let them do what ever the fuck they want when are we all going to wake up and relize that these fucking idiots are just controlling us. We might as well let Castro or chinas rulers come over and run are country because thats where we are heading and none of us see that cause were all caught up with rising gas prices or new gadgets that are comming out wake up people we are not free we are being told when to shit when to eat and what to do. Another thing I dont understand is if we all live in one nation how come every state has its own laws cali is legal florida is not that surely makes no since come on folks we need to figure something out to correct this bullshit. Theres millions of people in the USA how come there only a few of us that are making decisions for the rest of the world that really makes no sense the GOVERMENT is the BIGGEST MAFIA, DRUG LORD, GANG THERE IS IN THE WHOLE WORD!!!!! Wake up people before its to late or is it allready to late well if this is the way of life for you well good luck but to me everything is being taken away little by little,

cops higher

cops higher interest.........bust grow houses to just take the money they find and not tell anyone!!

You gonna do something or just stand there and bleed?

We're based in Florida and took action against this bill but we can't do it alone.

We support positive drug policy reform measures and work against negative legislation in all US states, at the federal level and worldwide.

Drug policy reform supporters worldwide are urged to join us.

We need voters, activists and donations.

Join the mailing list.

Contact us by email from the website:

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"The World Health Organization Documents Failure of U.S. Drug Po

On a positive note this is great reading. I wonder what the prohibitionists and the mainstream media will have to say about it in the next few days:


How did this clown get this far. VOTE MAKE A DIFFERENCE ! If you don't vote for the right person it will never be legalized. Get organized !

Holland people smoke freely.

Why is it that in America you have NO Universal Health Care? To make matters worse smoking pot is outlawed in the so called land of the free. All the people of in the land of Holland get to smoke pot freely. Why does American prisons and courts want to make money from pot and imprison pot smokers? One day many years from now people will wonder why pot could have been mainstream like Budweiser,Marlboro,Jack Daniels.

Thankyou, all of you

... for taking a stand on this...

Yes you all deserve freedom to live the way you wan't as long as your not endangering another.

It's getting beyond ridiculous in Florida the imbalance of perspectives. Florida is a big state and as diverse as it is in its wild plant and animal life, it's just as diverse when it comes to the inhabitants.

While obviosly the state economy thrives on alot of tourism; it being a mecca of wildlife, warm weather, beach resorts, golf courses and ofcourse Disney, the everyday people who live in the state and grew up here who have to become inherintly tolerant of such a diverse landscape,,, what better to breed tolerance then CANNABIS? So it's not a problem that more growrooms are popping up, it's a fact of supply and demand. People want there buds and rightly they should.

For most of these everyday 'lowlifes' becoming acustum to the landscape of hot muggy weather, overcrowded cluttered roads of exaust pipe smoke, the crowded school and prison systems; there's no finer solution if you're looking for a non tourist recreation, then having a smokeout and hanging around in your place or at a friends. It's practically a pastime to some and most of them aren't trying to 'traffic' pot at all.

There's alot of folks in the state who at the end of the day don't want to goto a bar and pay for overpriced drinks all night only to drive home and get a DUI. Sadly a lot of people I've known have gotten one or two of them and faced fines, probation and liscense revokation. Apparently that's what the governing agencies are inflicting upon the 'lowlifes'. To keep the liquir liscenses flowing, bars around every corner, drunks on every sidewalk so they can turn around and pop them with a DUI. Unfortunatly this is what capitalism is all about and the cannabis plant in no way can be capitalized on like booze or phramys unless its kept illegal. Then endless tax revenue will be spent fighting it and detaining poor people. More money is spent annually in Florida on higher detention rates then any education or rehabilitation for people who do have drug problems.

This is my conclusion, because far too many people I've known in the state who were once open minded and hopeful about living in such a scenic place have fallen by the wayside via self sabotaging harsh penal system here. And since they grew up here, they start to think that's just how life is. That we're all rats supposed to be looking for the same type of square govt. cheese as every other rat and that if you develop a taste for some other kindof cheese, that it may as well be tied to a trap so best not to develop your own taste. Im biased being from the state, I know other states have drug laws that need reform but I can assume this rat/cheese analogy fits Florida pretty well.

Atleast in this election we turned the state blue. That absolutly needed to happen even though it wasn't as crucial this election as in the past. We had something to prove for our own moral. But they still won't let people vote in the state on atleast decriminalizing medical marijuana. Someday...


I guarantee if a hair test were administered to Florida legislators and staff, 50% would show they have used marijuana in the previous 6 months.This of course ids the hypocrisy that most politicians,and the police for that matter,are guilty of what they refuse people in legitimate need of marijuana to fight glaucoma and hiv wasting,they themselves smoke it for recreational purposes.My brother was a cop and he knew of dozens of fellow officers who smoked pot recreationally.Apparently what is good for their personal enjoyment is bad for persons who would medically benefit from its use.

i hope all of you potheads focus your attention correctly...

because writing on this blog is retarded....we should all be writing our congressional reps! stop bitching and start with real action....

Legality of marijuana

Perhaps you should all read the new Jesse Ventura book or the books by Cathrine Austin Fitts or the unauthorized biography of George Herbert Walker Bush written by Webster Tarpley to find out who runs the drug trade and makes all the money. The people who invented "Just say no" and their cohorts are the people who own and run it. Why do you think we have 7 army bases in Colombia, or no real border protection from Mexico or why are we in Afganistan? Drugs, that's why. The $500,000,000,000 which comes from the sale of these drugs is given to Goldman Saks to loan back to the people. That is how it is done. Also, the CIA is funded from these monies so it's covert operations can continue world-wide. If you legalize at least marijuana, the drug which is most prevelant, you will take a huge bite out of the operations of this corporate banking cabal who is about to lock down the people of the world in a way they cannot imagine. Get busy folks and vote out all candidates who will continue to support this system with drug money which they continue to make illegal so the prices will continue to be inflated. If you do not, you are signing your own death warrants!!

Pot Doesn't Kill.... Pill's do

Florida doesn't get it. Pot doesn't kill, pills do.

All our wasted money going to fight pot.

What a joke.

get over it

The only reason Pot is illegal is that it would put the pharmacudical partially out of business, who needs all these psydo fake drugs they make to "cure" everything from colestoral to a limp dick if all you need is a little bud, thats completely free and easy to grow...  hummm lobbiests in Washington are as guilty as the pharm companies and law enforcement in making it illegal.


Tabacco and alcohol should be illegal!!!!  Wake up already!!!

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