Finally! With Laura Sherrod Pence joining us last week, and Corey Cottrell continuing to provide material, So Local Pasco is finally becoming what I want it to be: A community spirit effort. Look, no one likes to hear me talk more than me…But this project cannot remain all about me. It needs other voices, and they are now coming around.
First thing, though:
PAY ATTENTION TO THE TROPICS. There is a system in the Gulf, and another in the Bahamas that will be in our neighborhood over the next several days. This doesn’t mean you need to panic, but it means you need to be vigilant. At the very least, we are likely to see heavy rains starting on Monday.
Corey brings us two interviews, today: First up, Nick Giancaspro, who is organizing a KanJam Tournament to raise money and food for local food banks.
Second interview is with Stevie Lovell, who is organizing a supply drive for flooded residents in Louisiana…And, by the way, their plight MAY get worse with tropical systems headed that way, over the next week. Please listen, participate, and GIVE GENEROUSLY!
That’s it for this week! The Saturday Music Cast returns NEXT weekend, with Julie Black and Dave Eichenberger…Very excited about that.
Have a safe, fun weekend…And I will see you at Gill Dawg on Sunday!
An overwhelmingly positive feeling, around the Spare Room, today.
We have finally beaten our January single day page view record (explained within). We did it by covering stories that you want to hear. We should, apparently, only cover haunted hotels, Port Richey city government, and weed. I actually think that would be a good podcast!
This will be a very short blog post…Just long enough to encourage all of you to subscribe to my podcast, contribute if you can, and let your friends and neighbors here in West Pasco County know that we are a primary source, now, for community directed media coverage.
When we count up all our interactions with readers, listeners and viewers, across the blog, podcast, Facebook Live videos, etc, we come pretty quickly to an astonishingly high 9 to 10 thousand hits. People tuning in to read, listen to, or view our content. That’s very exciting…And it is a number large enough that you should consider how ridiculously cheap our advertising is!
A word about the larger picture, if you’ll indulge me:
So Local Pasco is only one part of what we are doing, here. The Spare Room Studio was set up to show that we could create, produce, host and monetize podcasts for others…There were no dedicated podcast studios in Pasco County when we started. We are the authoritative podcast production house in Pasco County.
Right now, in addition to producing my show we also have a hand in:
And we have room to grow! If YOU would like to consider having a podcast, you should contact me. We are building a network of shows to be enjoyed by our local (and perhaps national) listening audience.
Reminder! Come out and see me today, from 1-3pm at Gill Dawg, in Port Richey. Check in on Facebook, and get a free cocktail!
The City of Port Richey, Tuesday night, approved an ordinance decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis (less than 20 grams) by adults. They become, as far as we can tell, the smallest municipality in Florida to do so.
The intent of the ordinance is to save police resources for more serious crimes, and to attempt to reduce the crippling stigma attached to having a drug arrest on one’s record. A drug arrest can have a massive impact on a person’s ability to land a good job, or to serve in the military, or even to keep one’s college funding. I know of one young man here in Pasco County who lost his enrollment at an aviation school due to police finding ONE marijuana seed in his car. At the time, he was a shift supervisor at a local restaurant, AND a full time enrollee in college.
At a recent City Council meeting, I was chided by a Port Richey resident for “never saying positive things” about Port Richey. I was saddened by that…She claims to not get the internet…So I have to assume someone TOLD HER I never said nice things about Port Richey. So…If you know Mrs. Spalding, let her know I said this:
While I have concerns about some of the decisions and directions taken by the Mayor of Port Richey, and by city management, cannabis decriminalization is a POSITIVE step…A sign of developing tolerance for sane, just marijuana policy. I congratulate the City Council for taking this step.
I’d also like to take a moment and congratulate Garyn Angel…He was one of our guests on So Local Pasco, Tuesday. He has worked very hard to show City officials the enormous potential UPside to cannabis, as a medicine, and a mostly harmless therapeutic substance.
Here’s an excellent article from the Marijuana Policy Project about decriminalization in Florida:
That breaking story bumped Laura down to second place (sorry, kid!). Laura Sherrod Pence makes her debut, today, as our music and art reporter. Moving forward, she will be responsible for packaging a once weekly feature, to air Wednesday, giving you information about upcoming art and music events!
Laura is well connected to the local scene, and attends a TON of music and culture events…Far more than me. She’s the perfect person for the job, and we know her weekly reports will get better every week. Contact Laura with information about YOUR upcoming gigs and events…REMEMBER! Her segment will AIR on Wednesday, but you should get her the information two weeks in advance.
I was out early this morning to attend a news conference at the West Pasco County Government Center…There was an announcement today that Mettler Toledo will be building and staffing an industrial facility adjacent to the Veterans Parkway in Lutz. The facility will be 250,000 square feet, and will be home to more than 500 employees.
Mettler Toledo Safeline is a worldwide leader in the field of check-weighing, industrial metal detection, and x-ray inspection systems for food, pharmaceutical, and packaged consumer goods.
Kudos to our county Economic Development team for bringing home a large industrial player!
Last word: Let’s keep an eye on the tropics, as Invest 99L will be in the vicinity of Florida in the next 4-6 days!
We have some national level guests with us, today. It’s interesting to me, to take a hard look at the kind of folks that are speaking up, here:
Garyn Angel is a local entrepreneur…Several years ago, he found himself trying to help a sick friend treat his own illness. Garyn is an analytical thinker. He was put off not at ALL by the illegality of cannabis. What he knew, what many of us know, is that there are no good reasons for cannabis to be illegal. Once you see it work for yourself, or for a loved one…You simply cannot un-see the benefit. Once you see someone replace opiates with pot, or have their appetite restored, or their mobility restored…You find yourself far less concerned with it’s status on Federal drug schedules.
He talks to us today about his journey to becoming a strong advocate and activist for both medical AND recreational cannabis use…He is responsible for convincing the city of Port Richey to consider decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis, for adults…That draft ordinance will be read at tonight’s Port Richey City Council Meeting.
Unafraid to Speak Up: Miko Grimes
Our second guest also has a national face and following. She is the outspoken, often controversially received Miko Grimes. Miko is an athlete herself, a scholar, a student of professional sports (if you start an NFL conversation with her, you better know what you are talking about, because she will embarrass you, and smile about it)…She is also the wife of new Tampa Bay Bucs Defensive Back Brent Grimes.
Miko is here to tell us about how the NFL is now considering medical cannabis as a replacement therapy for the much harsher drugs they’ve always handed out like candy. She’ll remind us that the league only treats pain to keep players playing…And the once they can no longer function, they are left on their own to medicate as they can. This system has led to tragic circumstances for countless players…And death for many.
The league ALSO must now reckon with the fact that cannabis is an effective treatment for traumatic brain injuries caused by concussions…And they know they are being heavily scrutinized as they seek a way to compensate for the decades of looking the other way.
Today, the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners is going to extend a moratorium on medical cannabis dispensaries in our county through December 31st, 2016. This means none of the sitting board will have to risk taking a pro pot position, until after the elections.
In my personal opinion, this is so they can avoid the risk of being pro cannabis…Which, in decades past, has painted a candidate as “soft on crime”. In fact, the crime of smoking marijuana is the most dangerous thing about it…For the user, and for the community.
What a time to be alive: Being PRO medical cannabis is now the majority position! Medical cannabis legalization is polling at EIGHTY percent. It is going to pass, in November. The County Commission is positioning itself to be behind when the start gun goes off, regarding regulation, distribution, and business modelling of a cannabis distribution in Pasco County. As it stands right now, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties already have medical dispensaries…So the only thing to BOCC is saving us from is having a plan, and potentially profiting from the jobs created by the new reality.
Let me close with a quote. Remember, this is a quote by a DEA official, in 1988. Ask yourself: Why are we still where we were, then?
“Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care. … It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.”