bondiphotosmall

By Steve Miller

Emails from the public received by the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in the last four months of 2013 overwhelmingly ask her to back away from her opposition to the proposed medicinal marijuana ballot initiative.

FCIR obtained the communications in response to a public records request for all email from the public regarding the issue between August 1, 2013 and Dec. 7, 2013, as Bondi’s office challenged the pot measure’s ballot wording last month in the state Supreme Court. From a total of 98 emails sent to the AG’s office in that time frame, 96 ask the state not to oppose the medical marijuana ballot initiative, and 6 support the AG’s opposition. One does not address the issue.

The missives range from angry to pleading. Many of them claim to come from Bondi supporters who are disappointed in her opposition to the proposed measure. According to addresses the letter writers provided, they came from all over the state, including Tampa, Naples and Jacksonville.

“I voted for you, however had I understood your position in the legalization of marijuana I would not have,” reads one from a “registered voter” in Lutz.

“I voted for you in the last election, but if you continue to oppose common sense legislation, you will lose my vote,” reads another from Ben in Naples.

Some cite the public support of medicinal marijuana in Florida, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released in November. That poll found 82 percent of Floridians in favor of medicinal marijuana.

The emails have been unedited.

“The people of this state have polled overwhelmingly to support legaslation [sic] for medical marijuana,but you don;t [sic] represent the will of the people!,” writes a man from Sarasota.

“I am educated. I am a nurse. I have dedicated my career to the protection of Florida’s seniors and reliving [sic] pain,” writes David in Naples, who lists his address as ‘1655 none of your business’.

“I believe that the government should be shaped by the will of the people not the urge to be re-elected. You [sic] stance on medical marijuana violates everything I believe in. You are denying a safe therapeutic agent to people who need it and not even allowing the people to have a voice in this.  Let the people speak. Or is it that you believe that your constituency is not bright enough to choose for themselves?“

Bondi’s office and other state officials, including a number of elected representatives, have battled medicinal advocates. In December, the state Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the ballot language, which the AG’s office claims is deceptive and could make “Florida one of the most lenient medical-marijuana states.”

The court has not yet ruled. The group behind the ballot measure, People United For Medical Marijuana, will have to come up with 700,000 signatures to get it on the ballot. The group projects to have a million by the end of this week.

Many of the emails received by the AG’s office asked Bondi to reconsider her stance.

From Brian in Vero Beach, who says he is a registered nurse, a paramedic and a Republican,“I know you are concerned with the “Unfettered” use of marijuana for any medical condition deemed treatable by a physician. Honestly, there has not been enough research allowed to really know what benefits there are to the use of the canibis [sic] plant. Florida could be a pioneer and lead in that research if it were allowed.  I urge you to work more closely with the many advocacy groups and sponsors of the legislation to find language that will satisfy the concerns you and many others have. Recent polls show that the greater majority of Floridians support changing the laws to allow use of medical marijuana. Why not be a champion for what the majority of your constituents want?”

Another email from a nurse in Naples, said “I am concerned that your office [sic] currently trying to resist a change in medical marijuana laws. As a Nurse I see countless lives destroyed by narcotics and alcohol. Virtually every day on the job I see the damage that prescription painkellers [sic] have caused. I am grateful that you have done so much to close the pill mills in the State of Florida as our State was complicit in supplting [sic] the nation with the vast majority of these medications. Your actions in this regard is saving many lives and is commendable.

Now I ask you to take the next logical step. Many states have currently passed laws that allow, with State regulation, the dispensing of marijuana for medical purposes. A case study in Colorado has shown that after these laws are passed underage abuse of these drugs actually decreased from 17% prior to less than 8 percent post passage. “

Bondi supporters were succinct.

“How do I help you stop this?,” Kathy in Punta Gorda asks. “the bill as written to legalize marijuana is a travesty. We are behind you all the way to stop this and if I can do ANYTHING please email. “

“Please stop this from coming on the ballot,” reads another, from Matthew in Naples.

Bondi’s office declined to comment on the emails.

 

Comments

comments