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Patients, Doctors Get Green Light for Medical Marijuana

January 11, 2017 - 10:30pm

Patients who qualify for medical marijuana under a voter-approved constitutional amendment can start purchasing cannabis treatments in as little as 90 days, according to the state's top pot cop.

Whether patients would be able to start buying medical marijuana before the Department of Health approves rules to carry out the amendment --- a process that could take at least six months --- has been a source of confusion for many doctors, patients and businesses.

Judge Rejects Track's Bid to Change Gambling Ruling

January 5, 2017 - 10:00pm

A federal judge has summarily rejected a request from a tiny Northwest Florida pari-mutuel to reconsider his decision in a legal battle between the Seminole Tribe and the state about gambling at tribal casinos.

'Bizarre' Court Action Adds to Death Penalty Confusion

January 4, 2017 - 10:15pm

In a highly unusual move that heightened confusion in an already-murky legal arena, the Florida Supreme Court quickly rescinded an order Wednesday that would have barred prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in capital cases.

'Mass Confusion' as Pot Amendment Goes into Effect

January 3, 2017 - 10:00pm

Even as the state prepares to carry out a constitutional amendment authorizing medical marijuana, a lack of guidance from health officials could create a "very murky and dangerous legal area" for patients and doctors.

Authors of the amendment, industry insiders and legislative leaders have called on the Department of Health to clarify what doctors and dispensing organizations can legally do under existing state laws and the voter-approved amendment that went into effect on Tuesday.

Three Names Sent to Scott for Supreme Court Opening

November 28, 2016 - 11:00pm
Judge Alan Lawson; Dan Gerber and Judge Wendy Berger

A lawyer who once worked to keep David Duke off the presidential ballot in Florida and two appellate judges who pledged to use judicial restraint are on a short list of replacements for retiring Florida Supreme Court Justice James E.C. Perry.

GOP Stems Democratic Push in State Senate

November 8, 2016 - 11:45pm
Jose Javier Rodriguez and Frank Artiles

Democrats' hopes of loosening the Republican chokehold on the Florida Senate were dashed Tuesday, as they captured one hotly contest Miami-Dade County seat but lost an incumbent Democrat in another.

Democrats also failed to seize open seats in North Florida and Tampa, despite a new Senate map aimed at doing away with gerrymandered districts.

In the Democrats' highest-profile Senate victory Tuesday, state Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez toppled Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla in Miami.

Weekly Roundup: Light at the End of the Tunnel

November 4, 2016 - 11:30pm

Four months ago, nearly six out of 10 Americans were already feeling exhausted by election coverage, according to the Pew Research Center

Voters were worn out long before Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump earned the nominations of their respective parties, and before stories of Russian email hacking and accusations of groping subsumed deeper topics, like the candidates' actual stands on issues such as the economy.

Justices Eye Proposal that Could Limit Gambling

November 2, 2016 - 10:00pm

The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about a proposed constitutional amendment that could severely limit the expansion of gambling in Florida by giving voters, instead of state lawmakers or counties, control over casino-style games

Lawmakers to Again Deal with Death Penalty Sentencing

October 18, 2016 - 10:00pm

For the second year in a row, Florida lawmakers will attempt to fix the state's death-penalty sentencing scheme in response to court rulings finding that the process is unconstitutional.

Incoming Senate President Joe Negron, who will take over as head of the Senate after the November elections, told The News Service of Florida on Tuesday that lawmakers will have to redress the issue of jury unanimity, at the heart of rulings Friday by the Florida Supreme Court, when they reconvene next year.

Judge Appears to Side with Seminoles in Gambling Dispute

October 5, 2016 - 10:00pm

A federal judge appeared convinced Wednesday that Florida gambling regulators' decision to allow controversial card games violated an agreement with the Seminole Tribe that gave tribal casinos exclusive rights to conduct "banked" games such as blackjack.

The controversial "designated-player" games allowed at pari-mutuel facilities were the focus of the trial that closed Wednesday after U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle grilled Anne-Leigh Gaylord Moe, a private attorney representing the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

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