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Ten (Big) Bucket-List Issues for Another Session

May 7, 2019 - 8:30am
Inside the Florida Capitol
Inside the Florida Capitol

Maybe next year.

When lawmakers hit the road Saturday after ending the 2019 legislative session, they left behind hundreds of bills and issues that did not pass. But there’s always the 2020 session, which will start in eight short months.

Here are 10 high-profile issues that didn’t make it through the Legislature:

--- ABORTION: The House approved a measure that would have required parental consent before minors could have abortions, but the issue stalled in the Senate. Lawmakers also did not pass a proposal that would have barred doctors from performing abortions after fetal heartbeats are detected.

--- CAMPUS SURVEYS: With some Republicans raising concerns about indoctrination on college campuses, the House supported a proposal that would have required surveying faculty members and students about their ideological viewpoints. But the Senate balked at the idea and refused to include it in a higher-education package.

--- CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMISSION: Though many lawmakers were unhappy with proposals placed on the November ballot by the state Constitution Revision Commission, they did not agree on plans to rein in --- or even eliminate --- the powerful panel. The Senate passed two measure targeting the commission, but the House didn’t follow suit.

--- FRACKING: With support from Gov. Ron DeSantis, environmentalists hoped lawmakers would ban the oil- and gas-drilling technique known as “fracking.” But the issue died in the House and the Senate, after a controversy emerged about allowing another drilling technique that uses many of the same chemicals as fracking.

--- GAMBLING: Powerful Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida negotiated for weeks on a possible gambling deal that could have included sports betting in the state. But time ran out on the issue without a bill being introduced. DeSantis said Saturday he will work on reaching a deal with the tribe.

--- GENETIC INFORMATION: The Senate in the closing days of the session did not take up a House proposal that would have prevented life insurance companies from using genetic-testing information in making decisions about customers’ policies. Supporters of the proposal pointed to privacy concerns, while the insurance industry argued it was over-regulation.

--- MARIJUANA POTENCY: Though lawmakers in March approved allowing patients to smoke medical marijuana, they split on a House plan that would have limited the level of euphoria-inducing THC in smokable pot. The House backed the limit, saying high levels of THC can lead to psychosis. But the Senate refused to go along with the limit.

--- NURSE PRACTITIONER POWERS: While House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, pushed through major health-care legislation, he was unable to get the Senate to agree to a proposal that would have allowed advanced practice registered nurses and physician assistants to work independently from doctors.

--- SCHOOL BOARD TERM LIMITS: Republicans in recent years have frequently floated the idea of imposing eight-year term limits on members of county school boards. But proposals aimed at placing the issue on the 2020 ballot stalled in the House and the Senate this year amid opposition from many school districts.

--- SMOKING AGE: In an issue that became known as “T21,” the Senate passed a bill that would have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21. The proposal also would have banned local governments from passing ordinances dealing with the minimum age. But the House did not take up the issue in the session’s closing days.


cannabis should be banned. It is a gate way drug, but aside from that , it is a drug. We already have a problem with limited motivation, lack of inclusion and socialization, poor driving practices, not enough investment for retirements, lack of faith, lottery ticket fantasies, poor work skills, immigrant that do not endeavor to become americanized, tinder based sex, and on an on. America is losing its soul and more means to escape reality are not worth our time. THey just want out money. A drug is a drug. We want to stop gambling addiction, but we allow more casinos, we want to stop drug addition, bt we allow legal use of more drugs, we want to reduce unemployment , but we allow in an retain illegal aliens. This is insanity.

The idea that we “need more research” when it comes to cannabis simply isn’t accurate. We have plenty of research on this plant, especially since we’ve been studying it for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Of course, modern medicine requires certain standards when it comes to research, however, even by modern standards we have enough research available to conclude on the safety of cannabis. The “More Research” fallacy is nothing more than a stall tactic. For thousands of years, humans have been using cannabis for medical, spiritual, and recreational purposes. Throughout all this time, the general consensus is that cannabis is relatively benign and actually very beneficial for humans to consume. However, for the past one hundred years or so, there has been an active campaign against the use of cannabis. At first, the disinformation about the plant was outlandish and usually racially motivated. Yet throughout the decades, the disinformation started to resemble “scientific research”. This pseudo-scientific papers would then be used to support the initial lies that ushered in the prohibition of marijuana. Controlling the Research In the US, research on cannabis meant that you had to jump through loops to gain access to marijuana which would only be supplied from the University of Mississippi – the only sanctioned federal marijuana grow site. We won’t talk about the “quality” of federal weed (which resembles hemp and not cannabis), but it is important to mention that the US government worked to keep research stifled. In order to conduct research, you’d not only have to get permission from the FDA and the DEA, you’d have to be temporarily deputized as a DEA agent seeing that cannabis is a Schedule-I Substance. You can understand that many researchers and scientists were not too eager to go through this process to simply research marijuana. However, despite all efforts, the United States couldn’t keep cannabis away from researchers. Scientists simply had to do their research outside of the US, and that is exactly what they did. The Rest of the World continued to Study Marijuana The idea that there “simply isn’t enough research” is bullshit. Countries like Israel have been studying cannabis for several decades now. They have double and triple-blind placebo studies, studies on cancer, the immune system, individual cannabinoids…you name it. In fact, there are more than 20,000 published studies on cannabis currently available, with more piling on every day. Cannabis is one of the most studied plants in all modern history. We know of its existence and use for thousands of years. In all likeliness, it was one of the first crops of humanity that helped us stop being hunter gatherers. To claim that there “simply isn’t enough research” is simply not an accurate statement. The question we should be asking is; “Why do we need more research?” More importantly, why don’t we see the same level of scrutiny on other medicine? Equality of Drug Scrutiny Being careful about substances is not a bad thing. I’d much rather have more research than less on any given topic. However, when it comes to cannabis, there is an unbalanced scrutiny on the plant. “We need to know more” is a bullshit excuse, especially since we’re seeing medication being peddles to the masses with side effects including, “Rectal Bleeding, Suicidal Thoughts or Actions” and of course the cherry on top “Sudden Death”. If cannabis, at any time would have any of these “side effects”, we’d be crucifying it. But cannabis does not have these side effects. Worst case scenario with cannabis is that you freak out a bit, have a rough night and wake up the next morning saying, “Man that was crazy”. You won’t die, you won’t bleed from your anus, you won’t have suicidal thoughts or actions. Yet, these “other drugs” get a free pass. “Well of course, they are FDA approved!” Well, if side effects like that passes the standards of the FDA…it makes you wonder. What is their acceptable margin for error? Why is it that with cannabis, “we need more research”? It doesn’t make sense. It never has. The Stall Tactic Explained By now, you should have realized that cannabis is going to be legalized globally. The tipping-point has been reached and surpassed and the dominos are falling one by one. One of the major players, the United States, need to put the final nail in the coffin for the rest of the world to follow suit. This, despite many countries already embracing legal cannabis. But why are the politicians stalling with “we need more research?” Firstly, I think their pharmaceutical sponsors are asking for more time because they want to ‘get ahead’ of the market. If cannabis is going to be legal, you can bet you ass that the pharmaceutical companies will want a slice of the pie.

The legislature should continue to defeat j efforts that restrict the local voters from choosing their local officials. People pushing term limits who represent that incumbents can't be defeated are in reality 'losers'. The real reason the 'ideologs' push term limits is to further the takeover of the public schools by a minority of zealots. Term limits are not needed they exist every 4 years.

Year-after-year, the issues are almost always the same. What we really need is an entirely new collection of legislators who will actually work to effectively deal with those issues.

Tried to do the arming teachers poll but it won’t work. Comment section won’t allow comments

Yeah,..."SSN's" 'polls' have been getting more & more restrictively prohibitive, to the "point" of CONTROLLING results...

Many much better ideas and things worthy of consideration than some of the stuff they did pass...shame really.

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