florida legislature

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Florida: Senate Unanimously Passes Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

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The Florida Senate on Friday voted unanimously to approve SB 1044, which reforms the state’s “Contraband Forfeiture Act.” Introduced by Sen. Jeff Brandes, the bill now heads to Florida House of Representatives for a floor vote.

The House companion, HB 889, passed its final committee of reference last week. The two bills are identical as amended and if HB 889 passes, civil asset forfeiture reform will head to Gov. Scott to be signed into law.

Civil asset forfeiture reform is a core national policy priority of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Florida is a state the group has specifically targeted for reform.

“This is a tremendous step towards reforming Florida’s outdated forfeiture laws," said Theshia Naidoo, senior staff attorney for the DPA. "The unanimity of the Senate vote speaks volumes to the necessity of these important reforms. The House needs to act quickly to pass this law when it meets next week.”

“The broad, bipartisan coalition that Sen. Jeff Brandes built in the Florida Senate is what made these reforms possible," said attorney Ron Book, who represents the DPA in the Florida Legislature. "This legislation heads to the House with consensus amongst both parties, law enforcement, and reform advocates. We hope the House will act with the same unanimity that the Senate just did.”

Florida: Bill Outlawing Marijuana Pipes Heads To Governor's Desk

(Photo: ChaCha)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Florida lawmakers have passed a bill outlawing the sale of marijuana pipes.

The bong ban, HB 49, on Friday passed the Florida Senate on a 31-2, reports The Associated Press. The measure, which had already passed the House on a 112-3 vote, now heads for the desk of Governor Rick Scott for his signature.

Florida law currently allows stores to sell the pipes. Any sale of marijuana pipes would be a first-degree misdemeanor if Gov. Scott signs the bill into law. Second and subsequent violations would be a third-degree felony.

Recovering crack addict Rep. Darryl Rouson believes marijuana is a gateway drug to things like, well, crack cocaine (despite all the evidence to the contrary). He sponsored the bill to ban all bongs, glass bowls, roach clips, and other things that can used as devices with which to smoke pot, reports Chris Joseph at Broward Palm Beach New Times.

"If we can make people drive to Georgia and Alabama and South Carolina to get fireworks, they can drive to get these utensils of death," the overly dramatic Rep. Rouson said.

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