State Attorney’s Office to stop prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced that it will stop prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana possession cases for the time-being.

The decision was announced Thursday in a memo sent to law enforcement agencies. Smelling or observing suspected cannabis will no longer be sufficient to establish probable cause of actually being cannabis, according to the memo.

Hemp became legal in the Florida after the passing of the Hemp Bill in July.

“Because hemp and cannabis both come from the same plant, they look, smell and feel the same,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “There is no way to visually or microscopically distinguish hemp from marijuana.”

As there is currently no police crime lab in South Florida to test for THC, all marijuana prosecutions, both misdemeanor and felony, will be stopped until a lab is built within the next six months.


Set It Up To Win at 

business workshop

A workshop focusing on what is needed when you want to start or expand a business will be discussed at an upcoming Harris Public Relations Cultural Conversations.

Your Business is YOUR Business-Set It Up To Win workshop will be Wednesday, Aug., 21 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at CIC Miami, 1951 NW Seventh Ave. 

The workshop will focus on exploring business ideas, appropriate legal structure, marketing products and services, intellectual property and more.

The workshop is aimed for nonprofits, small businesses, and entrepreneurs who want create a strategy that aligns with their core values, vision, and lifestyles.

The Cultural Conversations Series is part of an ongoing commitment to global arts, culture, business,            and community issues.


Census workers to start verifying addresses

Starting this month, an army of 40,000 U.S. Census Bureau workers equipped with laptops will fan out to neighborhoods around the country to verify and update addresses in preparation for the largest head count in United States history next spring.

The verification of addresses is the most labor-intensive component of the bureau's preparations this year for the 2020 count. 

The start of the address verifying comes a month after President Donald Trump announced his administration would no longer seek to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census questionnaire. The census results are used to distribute federal funds and decide how many U.S. representatives each state gets.

The method used by census workers is changing this year: In years past, listers walked every block of every street in the nation to make sure the physical addresses matched what was on their lists. For this year's head count, workers are verifying around two-thirds of the addresses from their office computers.


Florida high court to rule on felon voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis asked the Florida Supreme Court justices to issue an opinion on whether felons must pay all fines and fees before they are eligible to register to vote. It is also a move that competes with ongoing litigation in federal court on that                            same question.

In response to Amendment 4, the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature passed a bill this spring that requires felons to pay all fines and fees before their voting rights are restored. Amendment 4 supporters challenged the new law in federal court, saying it was an effort to keep hundreds of thousands of felons from registering to vote.

As many as 1.4 million felons could be eligible to vote under Amendment 4.

Last year, Florida voters approved Amendment 4, restoring voting rights for felons other than convicted murderers and sex offenders. Before its passage, Florida was among only three states that permanently disenfranchised felons unless their rights were restored by a clemency board.


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