Listen to This!
I am very honored to welcome Gary Stein as my guest on episode 33. Gary is on the front lines, working with the legislators in Florida, trying to get the laws to support Amendment 2, which was overwhelmingly passed by the voters, in place to enable the people of Florida to have easy access to medical cannabis.
Less than a week ago, his latest attempt at this fell through leaving the fate of medical cannabis in Florida up in the air.
Gary has a Masters in Public Health degree and is a native of Detroit. He has been a blogger for the Huffington Post since 2009. He has also written for Context Florida, Health News Florida, Florida Politics, and Politics of Pot.
He is currently working a book about medical cannabis called, “The Great Green Hope” which will be available later this year.
Gary has worked as an advocate and consultant on issues of health and health equity including Medicaid expansion, needle exchange programs, gun violence and increased access to healthcare.
He was Executive Director of Health Equity Connections , a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that worked to promote Health, Wellness and greater access to appropriate, cost-effective Healthcare for vulnerable populations and save Medicaid and Medicare millions and reduce the millions in uncompensated care to healthcare providers.
Health Equity Connections also seeks to promote an employment model to hire and train the blind and visually disabled so that they can earn an appropriate living wage by telecommuting.
Gary also worked for decades in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working on HIV/STD/TB and for the Florida Department of Health in Tobacco Control Programs and the Department of Health Equity. He also served as the Director of Public Policy for the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology Seeking to get Assistive and Adaptive Technology to the physically, visually and audible impaired to improve their education, chance for employment and a higher quality of life.
Gary’s wife, Monique, suffers from Stickler syndrome, a rare disorder that’s caused her to go blind. Gary and his family had gone into debt to afford procedures for their daughters to save their eyesight. The Huffington Post community donated over $30,000 to the Stein family in October to help them cope with their overwhelming medical bills.
Gary is now on a mission to ensure that easy access to medical cannabis is the law of the land for the people of Florida.
In this interview Gary answers the following questions:
- Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.
- Will you tell us about the history of Florida’s attempts at getting medical cannabis and why it has failed until last November?
- Will you talk a bit about the existing law, Amendment 2, that was recently passed by the voters to legalize medical cannabis in Florida, what it is, where it’s at and what is happening with it?
- Who is really the muscle behind the anti-cannabis pressure in Florida and why?
- You were involved with trying to get the legislation through that would add some teeth to Amendment 2, and that bill was just defeated. What was it? And what happened?
- According to John Morgan, the “political godfather” of the 2014 and 2016 medical cannabis amendments, Ben Pollara, your groups campaign manager, is responsible for defeating this latest attempt due to some back-room deals. How would you respond to that?
- How has Pam Bondi, Florida’s Attorney General, responded to your latest attempts at making Amendment 2 work?
- What are the most important take-aways from this last campaign?
- What is the next legal action for Florida and Amendment 2?
- The voters of Florida, who approved amendment 2, are now wondering what this all means for them now. What does their program look like right now and when will they have access?
- What can the people of Florida do to help this cause?
- Are there any final words that you like to share with the people of Florida, especially those who could most benefit from cannabis?
CLICK HERE to go to Gary’s Web Page
CLICK HERE to go to Gary’s Facebook Page
CLICK HERE to go to information on the Amendment 2 in Florida
Please remember that I am in not advocating nor encouraging you to break any existing laws and I highly recommend that you do not use medical cannabis without first consulting with your doctor.
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