New Push in Florida for Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana advocates are starting an organized push in Florida.

Kim Russell is not a hippie.

A devout Christian, Russell homeschools her children and drives them to play dates in a minivan. The 42-year-old is treasurer of a stay-at-home moms group and a member of her local Republican executive committee. She does not own any tie-dye clothes.

Still, the bumper sticker on Russell's Chrysler Town & Country can draw “interesting looks.” Passing drivers sometimes smile or give her a thumbs up when they read that Russell wants to make medical marijuana legal in Florida.

The issue has been an obsession since shortly after Russell's father was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and she learned the drug may help control the symptoms.

Russell cashed out her retirement account and took on a second mortgage to finance a petition drive in 2009. She went to speaking engagements in pearls and a suit. It was the second push for a medical marijuana amendment in Florida in a decade.

Like the first, it failed for lack of resources. But Russell and others are betting the third time is the charm. They have reason to be hopeful.

- Read the entire article in The Herald Tribune.

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