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Medical Marijuana Town Hall Meeting Going Down at Broward College Tuesday

The debate for legalizing medical marijuana has been traveling throughout Florida the past few weeks, and now it's making its stop in our neck of the woods.

United For Care and Drug Free Florida will be going head-to-head before the public in Broward, in a town hall debate Tuesday morning.

The debate, scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Broward College, at the Judson A. Samuels South Campus Performing and Cultural Arts Center, will be held a month prior to the gubernatorial debate happening at the college.

"Our campaign manager, Ben Pollara, will be debating a representative of Drug Free Florida," United For Care's Elias Egozi tells New Times. "It'll be a basic presentation from both sides, followed by a Q&A."

Egozi also says there will be a patient's support rally just before the debate takes place.

The town hall meeting will be moderated by Florida Senator Eleanor Sobel, Egozi says, and will be free to the public.

The debate comes just two weeks since Orlando-based attorney John Morgan debated Florida Sheriff's Association, Sheriff Grady Judd, in Lakeland.

Headlines were made post-debate when Morgan was caught on a cellphone video camera giving a profanity-laced speech to a group of young voters.

The video has since been aggressively used by Morgan and United For Cares' adversaries as a way of trying to show the public that the true hidden intentions of Amendment 2 is to legalize all pot outright.

Drug Free Florida, and its affiliate No On 2, have been pushing a message that the amendment is fraught with the kind of loop holes that would allow anyone with the slightest ailments to get a prescription for medical marijuana.

United For Care insists that Amendment 2 has no such loopholes, and that the purpose of passing it is to help only those with serious ailments, who would benefit from medical cannabis.

Still, that hasn't stopped the opposition from using Morgan's rant for TV ads and billboards.

Pollara himself has been a part of debates, including one last April when he went head-to-head with former Ronald Reagan drug czar Carlton E. Turner.

The support for legalizing medical marijuana in Florida has seen strong support in polls.

Most recently, a Gravis Marketing poll found an overwhelming 64 percent of Floridians will vote for Amendment 2 come November.

Back in March, a University of North Florida poll showed that 74 percent of Floridians support legalizing medical weed.

Then in May, Quinnipiac University released a poll that found that 88 percent of Florida voters support Amendment 2.

Tuesday's event promises more heated debate as the issue comes to town.

In addition to the debate, Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes will be giving a presentation about the changes to voting rights in Florida.

The patient's support rally will be held at 10 a.m., followed by the debate.

The debate will follow an open Q&A session until 1 p.m.

A. Samuels South Campus Performing and Cultural Arts Center is located at 7200 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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