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Sammis Law Firm, P.A.
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I had fun speaking on the legal panel for Tampa Hempfest today with Michael Minardi & Jhenerr Hines. Vote Yes on 2 to legalize Medical Marijuana in Florida in 2016.

We talked about recent changes to the Florida's Right to Try Act to include medical marijuana for the terminally ill, local city ordinances in Tampa to decriminalize cannabis, and Amendment 2 to legalize medical marijuana in Florida in 2016.

Ballot Language

BALLOT TITLE: Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions

BALLOT SUMMARY: Allows medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not immunize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.



ARTICLE X, SECTION 29.– Medical marijuana production, possession and use.


(1) The medical use of marijuana by a qualifying patient or caregiver in compliance with this section is not subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law.

(2) A physician shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law solely for issuing a physician certification with reasonable care to a person diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition in compliance with this section.

(3) Actions and conduct by a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center registered with the Department, or its agents or employees, and in compliance with this section and Department regulations, shall not be subject to criminal or civil liability or sanctions under Florida law.

(b) DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) “Debilitating Medical Condition” means cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.

(2) “Department” means the Department of Health or its successor agency.

(3) “Identification card” means a document issued by the Department that identifies a qualifying patient or a caregiver.

(4) “Marijuana” has the meaning given cannabis in Section 893.02(3), Florida Statutes (2014), and, in addition, “Low-THC cannabis” as defined in Section 381.986(1)(b), Florida Statutes (2014), shall also be included in the meaning of the term “marijuana.”

(5) “Medical Marijuana Treatment Center” (MMTC) means an entity that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana, products containing marijuana, related supplies, or educational materials to qualifying patients or their caregivers and is registered by the Department.

(6) “Medical use” means the acquisition, possession, use, delivery, transfer, or administration of an amount of marijuana not in conflict with Department rules, or of related supplies by a qualifying patient or caregiver for use by the caregiver’s designated qualifying patient for the treatment of a debilitating medical condition.

(7) “Caregiver” means a person who is at least twenty-one (21) years old who has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient's medical use of marijuana and has qualified for and obtained a caregiver identification card issued by the Department. The Department may limit the number of qualifying patients a caregiver may assist at one time and the number of caregivers that a qualifying patient may have at one time. Caregivers are prohibited from consuming marijuana obtained for medical use by the qualifying patient.

(8) “Physician” means a person who is licensed to practice medicine in Florida.

(9) “Physician certification” means a written document signed by a physician, stating that in the physician's professional opinion, the patient suffers from a debilitating medical condition, that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for the patient, and for how long the physician recommends the medical use of marijuana for the patient. A physician certification may only be provided after the physician has conducted a physical examination and a full assessment of the medical history of the patient. In order for a physician certification to be issued to a minor, a parent or legal guardian of the minor must consent in writing.

(10) “Qualifying patient” means a person who has been diagnosed to have a debilitating medical condition, who has a physician certification and a valid qualifying patient identification card. If the Department does not begin issuing identification cards within nine (9) months after the effective date of this section, then a valid physician certification will serve as a patient identification card in order to allow a person to become a "qualifying patient" until the Department begins issuing identification cards.


(1) Nothing in this section allows for a violation of any law other than for conduct in compliance with the provisions of this section.

(2) Nothing in this section shall affect or repeal laws relating to non-medical use, possession, production, or sale of marijuana.

(3) Nothing in this section authorizes the use of medical marijuana by anyone other than a qualifying patient.

(4) Nothing in this section shall permit the operation of any vehicle, aircraft, train or boat while under the influence of marijuana.

(5) Nothing in this section requires the violation of federal law or purports to give immunity under federal law.

(6) Nothing in this section shall require any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any correctional institution or detention facility or place of education or employment, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place.

(7) Nothing in this section shall require any health insurance provider or any government agency or authority to reimburse any person for expenses related to the medical use of marijuana.

(8) Nothing in this section shall affect or repeal laws relating to negligence or professional malpractice on the part of a qualified patient, caregiver, physician, MMTC, or its agents or employees.

(d) DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT. The Department shall issue reasonable regulations necessary for the implementation and enforcement of this section. The purpose of the regulations is to ensure the availability and safe use of medical marijuana by qualifying patients. It is the duty of the Department to promulgate regulations in a timely fashion.

(1) Implementing Regulations. In order to allow the Department sufficient time after passage of this section, the following regulations shall be promulgated no later than six (6) months after the effective date of this section:

a. Procedures for the issuance and annual renewal of qualifying patient identification cards to people with physician certifications and standards for renewal of such identification cards. Before issuing an identification card to a minor, the Department must receive written consent from the minor’s parent or legal guardian, in addition to the physician certification.

b. Procedures establishing qualifications and standards for caregivers, including conducting appropriate background checks, and procedures for the issuance and annual renewal of caregiver identification cards.

c. Procedures for the registration of MMTCs that include procedures for the issuance, renewal, suspension and revocation of registration, and standards to ensure proper security, record keeping, testing, labeling, inspection, and safety.

d. A regulation that defines the amount of marijuana that could reasonably be presumed to be an adequate supply for qualifying patients’ medical use, based on the best available evidence. This presumption as to quantity may be overcome with evidence of a particular qualifying patient’s appropriate medical use.

(2) Identification cards and registrations. The Department shall begin issuing qualifying patient and caregiver identification cards, and registering MMTCs no later than nine (9) months after the effective date of this section.

(3) If the Department does not issue regulations, or if the Department does not begin issuing identification cards and registering MMTCs within the time limits set in this section, any Florida citizen shall have standing to seek judicial relief to compel compliance with the Department’s constitutional duties.

(4) The Department shall protect the confidentiality of all qualifying patients. All records containing the identity of qualifying patients shall be confidential and kept from public disclosure other than for valid medical or law enforcement purposes.

(e) LEGISLATION. Nothing in this section shall limit the legislature from enacting laws consistent with this section.

(f) SEVERABILITY. The provisions of this section are severable and if any clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this measure, or an application thereof, is adjudged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction other provisions shall continue to be in effect to the fullest extent possible.

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The accreditation for Florida's arson lab goes up in smoke.

"This a huge deal. I mean, it's going to impact every single lab test that came out of that lab. When that accreditation gets pulled, that's a really big deal for the crime lab," said Tampa defense attorney Leslie Sammis.

Sammis told us no one told her the lab's accreditation was suspended. She said this information should be shared with every defense attorney in Florida.

"So if prosecutors don't know about it, that's a really big problem," said Sammis. "And if the prosecutors do know about it, and they're not sending out to the criminal defense attorney, that's an even bigger problem."

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Cool new online attorney membership directory launched for the California DUI Lawyers Association. We need a state level DUI organization like this in Florida. This directory is a great way for the public to find a qualified attorney and avoid the commercial directories. Good work +Lawyer Legion and +Internet LAVA, LLC !
Looking for a DUI attorney in San Diego, CA? Check out the new directory for the California DUI Lawyers Association. If you are a DUI attorney in CA, make sure you have claimed your profile. Specialty bar association can have better online attorney directories. Let us know what you think.

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This is a good way to find an DUI attorney online in California. Check out the directory for the California DUI Lawyers Association founded in 1989.
+Lawyer Legion just launched the new "find a lawyer" directory for the California DUI Lawyers Association founded in 1989. The top DUI lawyers in California are active in this organization. Visit their directory if you need a DUI attorney.  More than 500 attorneys are listed. If your organization needs a better membership directory then contact Lawyer Legion and the team and +Internet LAVA, LLC .

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Do you like the design of your criminal defense or DUI website? If not, then give +Internet LAVA, LLC a call and tell them that we sent you.

We highly recommend this company - visit our website to learn more about the drunk driving defense website that Internet LAVA, LLC, designed for our company more than five years ago.

We have recommended Internet LAVA, LLC, to many of our friends over the years (and they are still our friends and very happy with their website and internet marketing strategy). You can call us for more information if you are looking for a website design company.


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New Petition to Legalize Medical Marijuana in Florida in 2016 is ready to be signed.
The new petition to legalize medical marijuana in Florida in 2016 has been approved by the Secretary of State. Florida voters can download, print, sign, and mail in the new petition. 700,000 validated signatures are needed. Read more about marijuana crimes in Florida.

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What do prosecutors think of the drunk driving refusal case? A prosecutor in Tarrant County, TX, explains it this way:

"Statistics in our county reveal which DWI trials are most challenging. In 2010, the conviction rates for cases with breath and blood tests were 83 and 100 percent, respectively. However, the conviction rate for all DWI cases in Tarrant County was 58 percent. This sizeable decrease is attributable to breath/blood test refusal cases (45 percent conviction rate) and the dreaded total refusal (35 percent)....

One reason breath-test refusal cases are difficult is because the absence of objective evidence often causes juries to demand obvious signs of intoxication that are more consistent with a total loss of normal faculties."


Read more about refusal cases in Florida -

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The Sheriff in Pasco County calls two deputies "criminals who were unfortunately wearing a badge." Carlos Xavier Lopez, 41, was charged Nov. 6 with sexually battering a woman while he was in uniform and on-duty following up on a call for a previous domestic incident.

Longtime Pasco deputy Fredric Pye Vetter was fired. He was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with evidence tampering.

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We just updated the page on our website discussing DUI cases in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL. Find out why we are still encouraging our clients to demand a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension.
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