INSIDERS Update: Legalizing Marijuana in FL and Afghan Pilots Continue Training in GA

Insiders Update
Posted at 9:56 PM, Nov 26, 2015
and last updated 2017-12-13 05:24:29-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - The debate over the legalization of Marijuana in Florida continues. Twenty three states have pushed forward with legislation legalizing the plant in various forms, while others, like Florida only want it on a limited basis for medical purposes.

In 2014 the measure to legalize Marijuana, (Amendment 2) in Florida fell just short of the 60% vote needed to pass at the ballot box. Opponents of the Bill raised millions of dollars to defeat it. Florida Governor Rick Scott eventually signed a Bill into law allowing limited use of "Charlotte's Web," a specialized strain of the drug for medical purposes only. The medical marijuana law, which permits only CBD medicine, limits use to patients suffering from seizures, cancer and other terminal illnesses.

A new initiative taking shape in Florida supported by Regulate Florida, gives voters the power to determine if Marijuana should be regulated and for adult use only. The initiative allows voters to determine whether adults 21 and over should be allowed to possess up to an ounce of weed and cultivate as many as six plants for personal use. Additionally, the initiative would create a taxed and regulated market that would allow retail pot shops to open up all across the state. Those would offer Floridians something similar to what is currently underway in Colorado. So far Regulate Florida has collected 30,000 verified signatures, far less than the 683,149 needed to make it on to the ballot box.

Emalee Hyde with Regulate Florida says, "Regulate Florida is the campaign that is in Florida for adult use of Marijuana and to regulate it like alcohol. This initiative with Regulate Florida expands how many people are going to be able to have access to this medicine. That's why community awareness and mobilization is so key in getting the word out and letting people know they have the power to change the law."

If Regulate Florida gets enough signatures, Floridians will have a new Bill to legalize Marijuana on the ballot for next November.


In December of 2014, Afghan pilots started a training program in South Georgia at Moody Air Force Base.

In December of 2014, WTXL spoke with the Commander of the 81st Fighter Squandron in charge of the program to get a preview. He said the training is expected to last through 2018 with about 30 pilots and 90 maintenance crew members learning the skills need to protect their country.

The pilots are training with A-29 Super Tucanos, 20 of which they get to keep.

"When these students return back to Afghanistan they'll be going right in conflict so we're very conscious that we need to do our very best to have them prepared when they return," said Lt. Col. Jeff Hogan, the commander of the 81st Fighter Squadron. 

The 81st Fighter Squadron falls under The 14th Training Wing at the Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. Base officials say four pilots and 14 maintainers are expected to graduate at Moody Air Force base on December 18. That number could fluctuate based on student performance and weather.

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