Miami Beach Bans Public Use of Cannabis
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Miami Beach Bans Public Use of Cannabis

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida is opposed to this move.

A new municipal ordinance has been passed by the City of Miami Beach to discourage people from smoking weed in public. This move was unanimously approved by city commissioners and seemingly pushed for by the Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. Under the new law, those found to be smoking hemp or cannabis in public places can be penalized with a fine of up to $500 and a 60-day sentence in county jail. For Mayor Gelber, this is a welcome move for residents who say, “they expect a certain level of conduct”.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida is however opposed to this move as it predicts that it will disproportionately affect young people of color. It is also opposed to the escalation of punishment that makes the infraction a criminal rather than a civil offense. They believe a civil citation program could be just as effective a deterrent, without having to create needless criminal records for young people.

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Simply Green

Although Florida has yet to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, many of its counties and cities have opted to decriminalize possession of low qualities of the drug. Rather than apply the state law that makes possession a misdemeanor, many local authorities like those in the Miami-Dade County have chosen to make it a civil offense. Those found in possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana are now issued with a citation and can be fined $100 or be required to perform two days of community service.

This relaxed attitude towards handling marijuana possession cases has been a benefit to residents and visitors looking to enjoy a spliff without the worry of arrest. The recent legalization of hemp by the state has further encouraged this de-escalation. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office decided that they would no longer be seeking to prosecute minor marijuana charges as they were not able to distinguish between hemp and cannabis.

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Hemp vs. Cannabis

Hemp and marijuana are often confused because of a similar appearance. Hemp, however, refers to varieties of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC content. THC is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana that is responsible for the ‘high’ effect. At such low levels, it is considered non-intoxicating and falls to trace amounts when the plant is processed. Marijuana that is used for medicinal and recreational purposes has more than 0.3% THC levels.

There are difficulties and expenses involved in trying to distinguish the two in the field. As well as the growing trend of decriminalization of cannabis use and possession across the state, that has encouraged lawmakers and local governments to craft their own ordinances. This was designed in hopes that it would make minor offenses a civil matter that police officers can handle, without the need of judicial intervention.

The Miami Beach police, however, seems to not have been as enthralled with this decriminalization. Captain Daniel Morgalo gave an anecdote at a commission meeting of an incident whereby a person stood on top of a police vehicle smoking marijuana. It would seem part of the motivation behind the new ordinance stemmed from an inability by the police to handle such behavior, despite the obvious infraction of standing on top of the police vehicle on its own being illegal.

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Because the new ordinance includes hemp, which is not ideal for anything other than industrial use, there may be some room in defying the new ordinance. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the use of hemp at a federal level and making it illegal at the county level may contravene this right. For now, however, it may be best to enjoy your joints indoors as the Miami Police enthusiasm to apply the ordinance, backed by the mayor’s office, seems high and mighty.

For those of you that live in the state and are excited to see the day when the recreational use of cannabis is legalized, you may not have to wait too much longer. Even today, there are talks of a possible 2020 ballot in the sunshine state that would give the people the option to vote for the legalization of recreational cannabis use.

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The nutrients in the raw herb are preserved when not cooked or heated, so you can get the vitamins and enzymes that are important for improving your immunity system and other benefits.

Cannabis smoothies contain a range of nutrients such as foliates which are important for DNA repair in your body. The dark green leaves are rich in iron, which is crucial for moving oxygen in the blood, while the calcium-rich leaves and buds are good for getting strong bones. Vitamin K is also present and helps with calcium absorption and blood clotting. It is recommended that you blend the mixture instead of juicing it since juicing can cause many of the cannabinoids that are stored in the fiber of the plant to be lost.

A Healthy Alternative to Smoking

Smoothies give you the raw, unheated forms of CBD and THC in the form of THCA and CBDA. THC and CBD are activated by heating, giving you the high feeling and therapeutic properties respectively through decarboxylation. While lighting up cannabis creates THC, it is also responsible for reducing the volume of cannabinoids and terpenes, which are readily available in raw cannabis.

THCA will give your body health benefits that include reduced inflammation, improved sleep issues such as insomnia, reduced chronic pain and treating loss of appetite. It can also help to treat nausea while avoiding the psychotic effects that come with smoking. Going raw with a cannabis smoothie could be the only way to go if you are hunting for health benefits while avoiding the high that comes with smoking cannabis.

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While cannabis smoking sessions are usually not intended to get you healthy, a cannabis smoothie lets you make the most of the health benefits the plant has to offer. The other ingredients will also help to ensure a smoothie that is packed full of nutrition.


Brenda Godinez

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