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Sep 07 2023


6:30 pm - 8:30 pm



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Meeting ID: 841 7595 0107
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Phone: +1 929 205 6099
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Marijuana laws at State levels are changing. According to DISA Global Solutions, a leading provider of statistical data, 38 states have legalized medical marijuana and 32 states have decriminalized marijuana altogether. In 2016 over 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana via a citizen driven constitutional amendment.

The effort to put a question to voters on the FL ballot to legalize recreational marijuana has collected nearly 1 million petitions reaching the number of signatures necessary to qualify for the Nov, 2024 ballot.

The ballot language is currently under review by the FL Supreme Court. FL Attorney General Ashley Moody is urging the Court to reject the proposed amendment which would allow recreational use of marijuana by people 21 and older (again).

Despite the approval of legalization by so many state governments, the federal government has yet to advance federal legalization of cannabis.

Marijuana, has been an integral part of human civilizations for a thousand years both as a medicine and as a recreational substance. Our expert panel will discuss the “Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative 2024”, give an overview of the most popular medical and recreational uses of cannabis, the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis laws, the economic and safety benefits of regulated recreational marijuana and more.

Our Panelists are:

1. Christopher Carlos Cano, M.P.A.

Christopher Cano is a United States Air Force Veteran and Public Administrator who currently serves as an organizer for social justice. Armed with multiple degrees from the University of South Florida and years of experience in Florida politics, Chris strives to be at the forefront of multiple movements working to affect change in America. Currently he serves on several local and state-wide boards of various nonprofit and advocacy organizations. His scholarly work, A Comparative and Policy Analysis of Cannabis Prohibition with Recommendations for Florida’s Medical Marijuana System, was lauded by fellow academics as the most in-depth research on the subject ever conducted by student from the University of South Florida’s School of Public Affairs.

Christopher’s professional experience working as a Legislative Analyst in the Florida Legislature, for several Social Justice Organizations, and a major Fortune 500 Company in the Pharmaceutical Industry give him a wealth of knowledge that he applies everyday. His post-graduate work as a Professor teaching educational seminars combined with his professional and academic experience make him one of the top industry professionals. Chris currently serves as Executive Director for the Central Florida Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

2. Jodi James

Jodi James is a respected speaker, teacher, debater, strategic planner, thought-leader, and mentor with more than 25 years of experience in cannabis policy. She began as a patient volunteer in 1996, bringing a decade of business experience to the movement to change marijuana laws. By 1998, she had a staff position with the Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana (CAMM) while volunteering for the newly formed Florida Cannabis Action Network (FLCAN).
Jodi served as the Executive Director for the FLCAN from 2011-2019, overseeing the development of their four-prong platform. During her tenure, the organization put together the first marijuana bill in Florida since 1978, introduced and eventually passed the legislation removing hemp from the controlled substance act, produced dozens of public education programs annually, helped patients earn medical necessity through the courts, and built a statewide constituency that influences lawmakers to this day. In addition to her work with FLCAN, Jodi spent three years with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an international speakers bureau of current and former law enforcement professionals.

Jodi has spoken at national conferences including the National NORML conference, the Marijuana Policy Project conferences, Patients Out of Time Conferences on Cannabis Therapeutics; and international events including the Drug Policy Alliance and MENSA. In Florida, she has shared her humor, wisdom, and experience with audiences from the Panhandle to the Keys. In the spring of 2014, she shared the stage with Florida Sheriff Association President, Sheriff Judd, in a panel discussion regarding Amendment 2.

3. Carlos Guillermo Smith

Carlos Guillermo Smith became Florida’s first openly-LGBTQ Latino lawmaker with his election to the Florida House of Representatives in 2016, where he served three consecutive two-year terms thru 2022. A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Carlos is a respected civil rights leader who has championed affordable housing, gun safety, cannabis legalization, support for people living with disabilities, and funding for the arts.

Carlos has been honored by organizations such as the League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida PTA, the LGBTQ+ Center Orlando, and the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce for his public service and advocacy. He lives in East Orlando with his husband, Jerick Mediavilla and is a Democratic candidate for Florida Senate District 17 in Orlando.

4. Kendra Thompson: VIP guest

Kendra Thompson is a true advocate for peace, love, plants, and justice. As the proud owner of Honeycomb FL, LLC’ a CBD shop, Kendra has immersed herself in the grassroots cannabis movement, striving to create awareness and support for this natural plant.

Born and raised in Brevard, Kendra has always had a strong connection to her community. In April of 2023, she organized the first-ever Hemp Fest, a groundbreaking event that brought together cannabis enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and activists. Due to its tremendous success and the overwhelming support from the community, Kendra is gearing up to host the 2nd annual Hemp Fest in 2024, promising to make it even bigger and better.

The Official Petition for Safe Adult Marijuana Use in Florida
DISA Medical Marijuana by State updated Aug. 1, 2023

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