Student Leader, Jared Austin, Kicks Off State Green Party Annual Meeting

As many of you know environmental degradation is no single issue, it is embedded in the same system that has plagued workers, minorities, and various other oppressed groups for going on centuries; this system, of course, is capitalism and it was this realization within our organization that got us much closer to the actual Green Party platform and got us into the streets.

wThis young student organizer and president and founder of Green Party Alliance of USF, launched our annual state conference with this thoughtful opening speech, where he spoke of the systemic problems of capitalism and imperialism and of the actions he and his fellow student greens and activists are taking on, including calling for USF to divest from all fossil fuel use and investments by 2020. He speaks eloquently about the bigger picture as well as concrete efforts on the ground and the work ahead for all of us working for a fair, just and sustainable future.

Jared Austin, president of the Green Party Alliance, USF.

Good afternoon, I want to first thank Cathy Gilbert and Josh Pritchett for allowing the Green Party Alliance at USF to host this wonderful event today, our organization is truly honored and excited especially given where we began, the current state of the world today and given what events like today will mean in the future. I would also like to thank the members of the Tampa chapter of the Green Party who saw a young student passionate Continue reading “Student Leader, Jared Austin, Kicks Off State Green Party Annual Meeting”

Agenda for GPF AMM 2015

Draft Agenda for AMM June 2015

See Location Addresses below*

Friday June 5, 2015
6:00 – 9:00 pm – Ybor Daily Market, CORRECTION: 1920 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605

Saturday June 6 – USF, Marshall Center, Room.. *
8:00 – 8:45 – Sign in and breakfast. [Nominations board up through day]
8:45 – 8:50 – Introduce facilitator/Kat Duerr,  Choose timekeeper, vibe watcher Richard Carpenter, stack keeper, scribe
8:50 – 9:05 – Welcome and introductions.
9:05 – 9:15 – Establish quorum and method of voting
9:15 – 9:25 – Explain how stack works. Review of meeting process, rules and regulations for proposals, Communication guidelines and agreements. Introduce voting rules for this weekend, including consensus process. (Facilitator)
9:25 – 9:45  Open by co-chairs; Purpose of meeting; Agenda
9:45 – 10:55 – Treasurer’s report, Reports from GPUS delegates, Cmtees, Locals and current campaigns
11:00 – 12:30 – Workshop: Social Justice/Racism ENDING THE NEW JIM CROW < Rich Hillwig & Robbin Harris
12:30 – 1:30 – Lunch
1:30 – 2pm – Dr. JILL STEIN by Skype (schedule in day may change)
2:00 – 3:00 – Workshop: FRACKING IN FLORIDA <Dr. Karen Dwyer, StoneCrab Alliance, and Caitlin Weber, Conservancy of SW Fla.
3:10 – 3:25 – Presentation: TPP – Harriet Heywood
3:25 – 3:40 – Presentation: Save Our Suwannee and Our Santa Fe River < Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson
3:40 – 4:10 – Workshop: Issue Campaigning < Andrea Cuccaro
4:10 – 4:25 – Workshop: Starting a Campus Greens < Jared Austin
4:25 – 5:00 – Discussion: 2016 strategy discussions

6:00 – 10:00 pm  –  EVENING at Sacred Grounds (opens doors at 6) coffee house includes food/coffee/tea/dessert, slow style.
Guest speaker Dezeray Lyn from the International Women’s Peace Service. She will give a report back from two months in the occupied Palestinian Territories and the inhuman & unjust conditions they endure. See interview with her here.

Sunday, June 7 – Treehouse Yoga*

8:00 – 9:00 – Breakfast (downstairs in Garden Room)/new sign-ins
9:00 – 10:30
– Review of roles/expectations for co-chairs/officers
– Final Nominations for officers
– Voting rules and methods / Internal Elections (Results provided when tallied)
10:30 – 11:00 – Cmtee time, Outgoing Officers meet with New Ones;
11:00 – 12:00 – Evaluation and Next Steps; Announcements. Next year’s meeting / voting method
12:00 pm  – ADJOURN

but all are invited to attend events that follow at the library.

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch out

1:00 – 4:30PM. – Open to Public,
John F. Germany Library Auditorium
Speaking engagements by:
@ 1:30- Colonel Michael E. Pheneger, President of the ACLU of Florida Board
@ 2:30- USF Professor Martin Schönfeld, Climate philosopher
@ 3:30- UUJF Board Member & Environmentalist Speaker Robert Keim
(a brief Q&A time will be included after each speakers presentation.)

*LOCATIONS for June 5, 6, & 7th

Ybor Daily Market,
CORRECTION: 1920 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605

USF, Marshall Center 4103 Cedar Cir. Tampa, FL 33620
Hosted by: USF “Green Party Alliance” club
*PARKING: fees not enforced in Lots S, D, E on Sat. (respect handicapped or reserved parking spaces)
All Day Guest Parking Pass Available for Campus.

Sacred Grounds Coffee House,
4819 E Busch Blvd, Tampa, FL 33617

Treehouse Yoga Center
8509 N. 29th Street, Tampa, FL 3360
(no shoes, no smoking, no food or drink in meeting space, water with lids only. Breakfast will be in Garden Room)

SUN 1:30-4:30PM. – Open to Public,
3 Speakers. See “Event Page” for detailed List.
John F. Germany Library Auditorium
900 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

**Downtown Tampa Online Guide & Map…

GPFL Annual Membership Meeting 2015

The GPFL annual meeting is in Tampa this year.

Join activists from around the state at the Green Party of Florida’s annual conference in Tampa. Learn about hot issues, meet and greet fellow party members, and help plan the direction of the party in the coming year.

TO REGISTER for the Event you will be directed to our Paypal Donation Page. Please fill out form there & click donation button to pay the Suggested Donation Registration fee of $20.00 (Only if you donate more than $200.00 per year are you required to provide your occupation.)
 If you choose to Register in person on the day of the event your Registration information & Fee will be required for admittance at the door. (We offer waivers if you are unable to afford the registration fee)

Friday, June 5, 6pm-10pm

Meetup at Ybor Daily Market – CORRECTION – 1920 E. 7th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605 for an informal pre-conference gathering.

Saturday, June 6, 8am-5pm

USF, Marshall Center 4103 Cedar Cir. Tampa, FL 33620, In the “3705 Manatee Room
Hosted by: USF “Green Party Alliance” club
*PARKING: fees not enforced in Lots S, D, E on Sat. (respect handicapped or reserved parking spaces)

We spoke with Security and the best Place to PARK FOR FREE is adjacent to the Marshal Center in the Crescent Hill Parking garage See Map Here.

Join us for a great day of Reports, Discussion, Speakers and Workshops:

8:00am – 8:45
Registration/ Sign in
& Breakfast: Bagels, Fruit, Coffee, Tea
(Donations accepted for food provided by local members)

8:45 –9:05
Welcome and Introduction by facilitator Kat Duerr

9:05 – 9:55 – Party Business

11:00 – 12:30 – Workshop:
Social Justice/Racism ENDING THE NEW JIM CROW
by Rich Hillwig & Robin Harris
Radio Interview part#1
Radio Interview part#2

12:30 – 1:30 – Lunch

1:30 – 2pm – 2016 Green Party Presidential Nominee Jill Stein will Skype in.

2:00 – 3:00 – Workshop:
by Dr Karen Dwyer, StoneCrab Alliance,
and Caitlin Weber, Conservancy of SW Fla.

3:10 – 3:25 – Presentation:
TPP ( Stopping the Fast Tracking of the Transpacific Partnership Global Trade Agreement )
by Harriet Heywood, National TPP Team Co-Coordinator
See Recent interview with Harriet here

3:25 – 3:40 – Presentation:
Save Our Suwannee and Our Santa Fe River (Water Issues)
by Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson

3:40 – 4:10 – Workshop:
Issue & Candidate Campaigning
by Andrea Cuccaro, 1Sky National Organizer

4:10 – 4:25 – Presentation: Starting a Campus Greens Group
Green Party Alliance at USF
by Jared Austin

4:25 – 5:00 – 2016 Strategy Discussions


Saturday Evening, June, 6, 6-10pm

Meetup at Sacred Grounds Coffee House which Opens 6pm

Guest speaker Dezeray Lyn from the International Women’s Peace Service. She will give a report back from two months in the occupied Palestinian Territories and the inhuman & unjust conditions they endure. See interview with her here.

(See Event Page for alternate Restaurants and Bars for your Evening Plans in Tampa.)

Sunday Morning 6/7/15, 8-12pm

GPFL Elections and discussions, at Treehouse Yoga Center

(Please, No Shoes or Smoking in Building & No Food or Beverages in Meeting Room (except water w/lid) Thanks.

8:00-9:00 Breakfast will be in the Garden Room

9:00-12:00 Elections and discussions

There will be WiFi

Parking Free

Sunday Afternoon 6/7/15

1:30-4:30 at the John F. Germany Library Auditorium

“Open to the Public, FREE”

Speaking engagements by:

@ 1:30 – Colonel Michael E. Pheneger, President of the ACLU of Florida Board

Michael Pheneger’s talk will titled: “Threats to our personal liberty” He will be speaking on ACLU’s various topics they are involved in, including but not limited to NSA’s the Mass Surveillance of all Citizens, the Patriot Act, the NDAA & more. See wmnf radio interview here.

@ 2:30 – USF Professor Martin Schönfeld, Climate philosopher

Martin Schonfeld’s Slideshow Powerpoint Presentation is titled: “Our Green Future—Designing Sustainable Cultures”

@ 3:30 – UUJ Board Member & Environmentalist Speaker Robert Keim

Robert Keim’s topic is titled “Slow violence: ecological sustainability”.  It will be related to  climate change and what we need to do to heal the planet. Robert is a Chaplin at Unitarian Universalist Church in the Pines, UU is a non-doctrinal, all inclusive church, so he will have a spiritual tone in his lecture.

(a brief Q&A time will be included after each speakers presentation.)

If the library’s multi level parking structure across from the library is full because of an event downtown, which is a possibility, then you can park a block away for $2 at the Royal Street Regional Lot. Just be wary of the one way streets when driving in downtown Tampa.


REGISTRATION for the GPFL/AMM: $20 (Make your payment to PayPal here).


Food: Breakfast and lunch on Sat, Breakfast on Sun. (donations)


Check our FB event page for more details and updates on speakers an.


Carpooling: Post if you need a ride or can offer seats.


Gram’s Place Hostel, 3109 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33603, (813) 221-0596. Make your online reservations now!

Upscale lodging: Floridian Hotel, 905 Florida Ave, Tampa FL 33602, Phone: 1-813-225-1700

Here is a short list of available, good and low priced hotels:

Just north of Bush Gardens

Clarion Hotel & Conference Center Tampa, 2701 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL, $75/night

La Quinta Inn & Suites Usf, 3701 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL, $89/night

Baymont Inn & Suites Tampa Near Busch Gardens, 3001 University Center Drive, Tampa, FL, $69/night

Days Inn Tampa/North Of Busch Gardens, 701 East Fletcher Avenue, Tampa, F, $49/night

Rodeway Inn Tampa, 210 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL, $59/night
John @ Mars Travel 303-933-0751
Above Hotel List provided by Mars Travel
If you need help with reserving a room feel free to email John at:

Bringing Solar to the Ballot in Florida!

Green Party of Florida supports Floridians for Solar Choice in the effort to bring solar energy to the ballot.

Floridians for Solar Choice is a grassroots citizens’ effort to allow more homes and businesses to generate electricity by harnessing the power of the sun. Currently, Florida is one of only five states* in the nation that prohibit citizens from buying electricity from companies that will put solar panels on your home or business. This prohibition limits customer choice and blocks the growth of this abundant, clean homegrown energy source. The choice to harness solar power should be available to everyone.

Floridians for Solar Choice is promoting a Florida constitutional amendment ballot initiative that would give Florida’s families and businesses the right to choose solar power. Past legislative efforts to overcome barriers to solar choice have been thwarted by large monopoly power companies like Florida Power and Light (FPL) and Duke Energy. These big power companies do not want to lose their exclusive hold on Florida’s electric customers or their wallets.

Floridians for Solar Choice supporters believe Florida citizens should have the right and freedom to choose solar power generated electricity if they want and from whom they want. Solar power should be available to every Floridian.


A Snowball Settles it!

A Snowball Settles it!

By: Christoph L. Rocker


Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) tries to prove global warming is a hoax today by bringing a snowball onto the senate floor.


He then points to his favorite climate denying scientist from MIT, Richard Lindzen, as to how global warming is just a bureaucratic scheme to instill fear in the public to get approval for a carbon tax.


This is his typical argument.

He goes on to say that 63% of newscasters say climate change is not man-made. How many of those are in big corporations pockets and what about the remaining 37%? Since when do newscasters understand science?

Rush Limbaugh, Radio Talk Show Host. Climate Change Denier who calls us Environmentalist Wackos.


He brings up the announcement by Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) today of an amendment that “climate change is real and it is not a hoax.” Inhofe say’s he commented that it is “arrogant of man to think he can change climate and climate change is a natural cycle.” He even says that the Biblical scriptures talk about it. He is clearly not living in reality. He is living in a reactionary Christian view of the world that is non-scientific and depends on junk science to prove the Bible as accurate.

He discredits Gore’s popularized “hockey stick” graph to remind the people that 2014 was the warmest year on record.



He has little faith in the IPCC or the UN.


He brings up a 1974 Times magazine cover that say’s “the ice age is coming” and say’s that everyone believed that to be true although it was a hoax! He brings another Time magazine cover with a polar bear under the title “global warming” threat. His point is that these are two opposite predictions from the same magazine 30 years apart.

The Chart below is from a NASA website. See citations at end of article.

He supported Whitehouse’s amendment but this whole thing is twisted madly to where he even co-sponsors the amendment now only with some bizarre exceptions. He agrees that climate is changing, in that it is normal for it to change & secondly he agrees it’s a hoax. The hoax is that people are so arrogant they think they have the power to change the climate – that’s the hoax, not the fact that the climate is changing. It is natural, not man-made in his belief.

Here is a simple chart to shows how CO2 can effect Global Temp.

How much more confusing can anyone ever make this issue? I can see the public being drawn into this convoluted argument and becoming even more confused. It is a complete circus of misinformation and he should be withdrawn from office for trying to deceive the people or at least for his sheer ignorance of this issue.

Below is a simple chart explaining the many negative effects of Global Warming.



Inhofe claims this whole “global warming” issue was cooked up by the United Nations along with the IPCC. He presents facts (the infamous 1999 email scandal) that scientists were purposefully lying and this, in his mind, proves conclusively they were cooking the science.

Below Image shows Antarctica’s rapid melting over 30 yrs.

Since then, we have 97% of scientist agreeing that Global Warming is a real man-made threat and we need to lower CO2 emissions before we reach a tipping point. Other scientific evidence recently suggests that the West Antarctic Glacier is melting and has already passed its tipping point which means in as soon as 200 years from now, a rise in sea levels to 15 feet or more.

Image of Antarctica and the massive melting ice that will raise sea levels

Who do you believe? A politician who is preaching junk science or a global community of scientists who are trying to inform the public of this eminent threat if we do not alter our course?

Multinational Global Corporations and the politicians whom they have bought via lobbyists want everything to continue as is and in fact they want to increase CO2 levels for profit. That is the name of the game when it comes to capitalism. The name of the game people are more familiar with is “monopoly.”


Therefore, Cap and Trade is the monster under the bed of this entrenched Republican Christian Junk Science Believing Millionaire Politician, and the “email scandal” is the only proof he has to convince us that global warming is not man-made and there’s nothing to worry about except the Liberal nut jobs who want to scare us into paying more taxes and regulate our companies to the point of bankruptcy.

James Inhofe Chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, which will have hearings and debates with prominent scientists on this very topic. He says the science is not settled and he will, I am sure, have more snowballs, Climate Deniers and obsolete charts to prove that the Glaciers are not melting because of CO2 and the future is in God’s hands not man’s. He dubs his team “The Truth Squad.”

He closes with remarks dismissing Obama’s 479 billion dollar plan that will not reduce CO2 emissions, allegedly claimed by its own director.

Dr. Jill Stein of the US Green Party


The Green Party is well aware of the state of our planet and our economy. We are proposing a Green New Deal as a peaceful and comprehensive 4 tiered solution to these many problems we face. We need your support and voice to grow our grass roots movement. You make a difference. Register Green NOW! Get Involved in your community! Many can do what one cannot.

– C. L. Rocker
All images were labeled for reuse on google images. For more information on graphs and quotes in this post, please refer to below citations:
inhofe snowball youtube – misinformer richard lindzen – climate scientist consensus – Antarctic Glacier melt unstoppable –

Nasa sea level rise from antarctic melt –

inhofe’s net worth –

6000 year old earth –,000%20Year%20Earth/6,000_Year_Earth.htm

cap and trade –

climategate email scandal 2009 –

students guide to climate change –

“Warning, I Choose The Politics Of Courage, Not Fear!”

“Warning, I Choose The Politics Of Courage, Not Fear!”

By: Christoph L. Rocker 2/24/15

Recent news reports warn that the terror threat level is up and shopping malls may be a target, yet, in the next breath, the newscasters claim the public should feel safe enough to shop. Why such contradictions? Who is deliberately creating this fear? Is it a coincidence that just this week Congress battles over whether or not Homeland Security continues to receive funding?

Citizen Four, the Oscar winning documentary portrays whistle blower Edward Snowden as self-sacrificing. Collecting the award, Poitras, flanked by journalist and collaborator Glenn Greenwald, said: “The disclosures of Edward Snowden don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself. When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret we lose the power to control and govern ourselves.”

In an interview with him last year Snowden claims that the NSA’s surveillance is so entrenched that he wishes he would have blew the whistle earlier. All it will take is a “major incident” to enact a policy with a flick of a switch to create “turnkey tyranny.”

This is the politics of fear and the endless war on terror in our new Orwellian Surveillance State in action. Does anyone else see this as more than coincidental, that they may be making stuff up in order to get more funding? Is it possible they are feeding us bits of intelligence and spinning it in order to keep us in fear and our money in their coffers? Or is this the media’s doing?

Edward Snowden was a successful young man who gave up his comfortable life and career as a high level security analyst for the NSA in Hawaii to warn the American Citizens of the abuses of power he eyewitnessed. His greatest fear regarding the outcome for America, is that after hearing all that has been disclosed, the public will do nothing, that they will not force their Representatives to take a stand for their own interests. We need to support him and the sacrifices he has made on our behalf. We need to be heard by our Representatives!

After hearing all this hype in the news, I visited the National Terrorism Advisory System on Homeland Security’s website. I was expecting a color chart with red or at least yellow, but in 2011 they opted for a new system where anyone can sign up to receive alerts via email, Facebook or Twitter. I visited their Facebook page and could only find posts by Secretary Jeh C. Johnson telling the public how important they are to the DHS. There were no current alerts to be found anywhere.

To quote Noam Chomsky, “To stop terrorism, a good place to start is to stop participating in terrorism.” We export terrorism on a wholesale level, whereas “terrorists” fight with guerrilla tactics in Afghanistan, for example. Those terrorists are fighting a super power, who has invaded their country for oil and other selfish interests. Who has killed more innocent civilians in the war against terror since 9/11? I’ll let you answer that question.
On WFLA Sean Hannity radio show recently I heard right wing Christians fundraising for soldiers of fortune to go overseas and fight the evil empire. I find this reminiscent of the Crusaders who would do anything to instill fear in their blasphemous Muslim rivals.


Native Americans were dehumanized by colonialists and then the American government. This genocide occurred through propaganda to create a belief system with hatred and fear of the “savages.” The extermination of almost an entire indigenous population was all for greed, land, and power, not Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It’s the same old song and dance. The question is, will we learn from history or be doomed to repeat it?

Instead of the politics of fear and hate, I choose the politics of courage & love. I exercise my right to free speech before it is lost forever to the warmongers and unfettered capitalism. It is the multinational corporations who are buying governments and taking away all of our rights and destroying our planet at an alarming rate!

Throughout all this talk, our young men and women are in a foreign country dying because private interests have convinced the public that it’s not about the oil but about the unethical, un-American, inhuman Muslim enemies. How many do we have to kill before it has been an “eye for an eye” for 9/11?

Why don’t we clean up all the organized crime and white collar corruption here in our homeland before we start trying to fix other cultural problem thousands of miles across the ocean? There is no money in it, that’s why. The KKK is alive and well in America. They still exist and can rise and become more visible if we allow fear mongers to continue these violent and defensive knee-jerk reactions. We are the pot calling the kettle black if we arc going to play on emotions and public sentiment.

Half of registered voters did not vote in the 2014 elections. We can change the world if we believe we can. You make a difference. Register Green today and vote! If you are not registered, register now! Choose the Green Party!

– Christoph L. Rocker



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Social Justice is a Winner for Greens!

15 Now is a winner in New York. Polls put Hawkins at 9% in a state where the pseudo-independent Working Families Party is set up to siphon the independent vote to the Democrats (WFP is backing Cuomo), and the state’s Democratic Party is one of the most powerful in the nation.

Reprinted from the Hawkins campaign:

Village Independent Democrats Endorse Howie Hawkins.  First Time Venerable Club Has Ever Endorsed Third Party Candidate

Posted by Daniel Goldstein October 12, 2014 10:02 AM

(New York City) – The progressive Village Independent Democrats endorsed Green Party Governor candidate Howie Hawkins at their Friday endorsement meeting.

It is the first time in the venerable club’s history that it has endorsed a third party candidate for any office.

Hawkins for 15.

“I know it is a bold move for any Democratic club to endorse outside the party. But it makes sense as I’m the only candidate who will stand up for the 99% who are getting a raw deal from politicians. I am the only candidate who will ban fracking, and create millions of jobs by moving to 100% clean energy by 2030. And I’m the only candidate that will put a floor on wages with a $15 minimum wage. The endorsement makes sense as I am the only progressive running for Governor.” Hawkins said greeting the endorsement with gratitude.

“This historic endorsement, by this storied Democratic club is further proof that my campaign is gaining momentum as more attention is paid to it and progressives disaffected with Governor Cuomo and Albany corruption are finding a home in my campaign and where I stand on the issues.”

The 57 year-old club is best known for helping put an end to Tammany Hall and for starting Ed Koch’s political career.

“I suggested that our club give thought to endorsing Howard Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, as he embodies many of our principles including his strong support of labor and the working man. His opposition to fracking is yet another way that he espouses our efforts,” said Village Independent Democrats Executive Committee member Frieda Bradlow.

“Howie Hawkins represents the kind of strong progressive politics this club has historically stood for; such as when, with the aid of Eleanor Roosevelt, it helped put the kibosh on the last vestige of Tammany Hall style corruption in New York in the early 1960s.Since the new breed of political corruption takes the form of corporate money smothering our democracy, our club is staying true to its roots by supporting Howie Hawkins: a genuine friend of the working and middle classes,” said long time club member John Bredin.

Meanwhile …

It’s a winner in St. Petersburg.

Rose Roby and Christian Brooks unite for 15.

Reposted from St Pete Green Party website.

Ban on Plastic Bags

gpf Plastic Bag Ban in Fla20 years ago the question was “Paper or Plastic.” This fight was won by the plastic industry. The question in our supermarkets changed to, Is plastic OK?

But Plastic is not OK. Plastic bags are an incredible waste of resources.  The average bag is thrown away after 10 minutes of use, many often ending up in our oceans – in Florida only 12% of plastic bags are recycled. They fill our landfills where they are blown away to our waterways. Once in the water and exposed to the sun, plastic breaks down relatively quickly but the plastic particles, toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and PS oligomer, can survive 100’s of years. Of these particles, only 30% stay at the surface,  with the majority of the waste falling below the surface or to the ocean floor or ingested by marine life. Continue reading “Ban on Plastic Bags”

New Documents Show Hughes Planned to Frack Orangetree Well

Naples, FL, October 8, 2014 — New public records documents  reveal that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection knew on December 23 of last year, and possibly as early as October, that the Dan A. Hughes oil company was planning to hydraulically fracture their Orangetree oil well outside of Naples. The documents were received on Friday, when Hughes dropped their “trade secret” opposition to a public records lawsuit filed by Preserve Our Paradise, Inc. against the DEP.

The DEP and the oil industry continues to deny even photographic evidence of fracking
The DEP and the oil industry continue to deny even photographic evidence of fracking with hazardous chemicals

The first released document is a Halliburton “Fracpro 2012 Hydraulic Fracture” recommendation to Hughes dated October 21, 2013.  The second released document is a “Well Proposal” dated 23 December 2013 prepared for Dan A. Hughes Company by the Baker-Hughes oil services company notifying the Florida Department of Environmental Protection of Hughes intention to conduct “fracking-like” activities. Although the second document nowhere uses the term “hydraulic fracturing”, the technical specifications are virtually identical to the earlier Halliburton hydraulic fracturing recommendation.  Hughes has continued to claim that the workover operation conducted at the well was not a “fracking” operation.

Don Loritz, Vice President of Preserve Our Paradise, reiterated the organization’s concern that Hughes had long planned to secretly conduct the fracking operations at the Orangetree well over the Christmas holidays, while no one would be paying attention.  An anonymous phone tip on December 27, 2013 alerted Preserve Our Paradise to an oil services convoy heading for the Orangetree well alerting Preserve to concerns about fracking. Because information and public records on the Orangetree Well was not promptly provided, Paradise filed a public records case in circuit court on April 2, 2014 seeking the release of all public records on the Orangetree Well (1394). Less than a week later, on April 7, 2014, the DEP and Dan A Hughes Company signed a consent order imposing a $25,000 fine on Hughes and requiring Dan A. Hughes Company test for possible contamination. On April 18, the DEP revealed this consent order to the press alleging that it had “caught” Hughes performing an “unauthorized operation” on January 1, 2014.

Loritz explained, “For some reason, these new documents do not include cover letters or the usual DEP timestamps, so we do not know exactly when the DEP obtained the Halliburton recommendation.  DEP has filed a lawsuit against Dan A. Hughes in circuit court regarding the workover, but Preserve or Paradise still has concerns about:

1) what was done to protect the public health in advance of the ‘fracking-like’ incident in Orangetree and 
2) whether fracking that has changed the landscape in many parts of the nation will be allowed in Florida.”

A chronology of events surrounding the “fracking” of the Orangetree well is available at
The trade secret documents, along with other public records concerning the Orangetree Well released to Paradise in the DEP records response, are available at

Cannabis Expert MD Challenges a Pharmacist’s View on Medical Marijuana


jeff Hergenrather in Baveno2 4

Cannabis specialist Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, and President of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, offers critique of North Florida pharmacist Karl Metzger’s dismissal of Medical Marijuana. (Metzger’s article appeared on the website of the Bay County Green Party of Florida, entitled “The Fallacy of the Medical Marijuana Movement – A Pharmacist’s Perspective.” It can be found here.)

Hergenrather introduces us to the field of whole plant therapeutics, and sheds light on the amazing synergistic properties of the cannabinoids and terpenes present in marijuana.

With Medical Marijuana appearing on the ballot in Florida in November, as Amendment 2, the battle is heating up for the hearts, minds, and votes of Floridians. It is essential that voters have an informed view. In that interest, Hergenrather’s response to Metzger’s article is presented here.

From Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD:

I believe that it is very important to integrate the pharmacist Metzger’s viewpoint into a discussion of the use of cannabis as medicine.  Mine is a clinical perspective coming from consulting with thousands of patients for over 35 years.  Lacking that clinical perspective Metzger’s viewpoint is flawed in many respects.

To begin with, when patients are recommended cannabis and cannabis extracts and products, it’s true that we want to have measured medicine in administering with the most safety and efficacy while minimizing adverse facts. It is also true that cannabis is one of the safest substances known to man. In his conclusion, Francis Young, DEA administrative law judge, on page 68 of his 1988 judgement said:

The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision. 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. The administrative law judge recommends that the Administrator conclude that the marijuana plant considered as a whole has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, that there is no lack of accepted safety for use of it under medical supervision and that it may lawfully be transferred from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2. The judge recommends that the Administrator transfer marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II.

The pharmacist seems concerned that having the right dose will prevent intolerance which would eventually “render medication useless”. This has not been the case in cannabis medicine. Patients find an effective dose by self titration. In my patient population that I have followed closely for 10-15 years or longer the patients use approximately the same amount of cannabis from year-to-year. Some describe increasing their dose with a flareup of pain or autoimmune disorder. After the flare up the dose of cannabis diminishes again, oftentimes to little or none depending on the condition.  Most patients simply self titrate and remain within a fairly narrow pattern of use. So the concern of the pharmacist is really not a problem for whole plant cannabis as medicine.

We are in agreement about minimizing adverse effects. That is one of the roles of the integrative cannabinologist (the cannabis consulting physician). It is in fact a key role in the patient encounter to determine the appropriate use of cannabis, make recommendations as required by law, advise about strains that may prove best tolerated and effective, and discuss the various methods of administration. The quantities of use are effectively titrated for the best effect to meet the needs of the patient while minimizing adverse facts.

The pharmacist also seems concerned about the number of molecules encountered in the whole plant as if this is a problem. It does create a whole plant research environment with astronomical numbers of different combinations of active ingredients that make it unwieldy for product consistency. Not all pharmacists are hung up on single molecule pharmacology and drug development. Many pharmacists are knowledgeable about the synergism of cannabinoid and terpene molecules providing for much better effects with the whole plant. Single molecule drug development is quite out of touch with using whole plants as medicines. Metzger’s concepts display a lack of knowledge of the “entourage effect” of cannabinoid and terpene molecules that are evident to the cannabis scientific community. These molecules are individually and collectively exceedingly safe. Their efficacy is based at least in part on combining the molecules as they are in the whole plant. The effects on pain and the anti-cancer effects of cannabis are best with combinations of molecules, not with the single molecules.

The commonly encountered terpenes in cannabis are generally considered safe though they may impart a soporific or energizing quality to the cannabis, hence strain selection is an important aspect of recommending cannabis.  Some of the herbalists and naturopathic physicians are bringing the term “adaptogen” to the cannabis conversation. Cannabinoids induce homeostasis by down regulating both nervous system and immune system functions, whether that is to aid in eating, sleeping, relaxing, forgetting, or protecting the body in various ways. Cannabinoids are uniquely able to work as retrograde messengers for any neurotransmitters, facilitating the biological needs that are lumped together as ‘homeostasis”.

It is important to recognize that cannabis smoke, unlike most other smoke, is bronchodilating. This is a unique property of the cannabinoids that make it very helpful for patients with asthma. Asthmatics have varying sensitivities to cannabis smoke. Some prefer to not use inhaled forms at all as the vapor or smoke induces some mucous production and low grade irritation from the smoke despite the bronchodilating effect from the cannabinoid exposure. It is remarkable but true that it doesn’t cause COPD, emphysema, or cancers of the lung or airways as researched by Donald Tashkin, MD, professor emeritus of pulmonary medicine at UCLA.

It may be typical of some pharmacists to only look to single molecules as medications, but there is a public acceptance of plant products in herbal medicine, as well as Chinese, Tibetan and other whole plant remedies. If cannabis were not one of the safest plants known to humankind there might be greater concern about cannabis acute overdose or chronic exposure leading to some other harm. This is however a minor concern for the cannabis specialist as the self titration of dosage is effective and has been used for millennia to find the right dose for cannabis for any particular condition.

The culture of disseminating misinformation about cannabis has been coming from NIH, NIDA, FDA, DEA, and the ONDCP for many decades.  The fears and uncertainty about cannabis created by these reports can be readily dismantled with a little research into the facts.  For example in the Dunedin study alleging diminished IQ in young cannabis smokers, correcting for socioeconomic variables reveals zero differences in the IQ of the study subjects.  You must look at the source and funding of the studies to shed light on the conclusions.

I concur with the pharmacist in recognizing that looking to the future, it is important to measure the content of dominant terpenes and cannabinoids.  With that information in the hands of the patients, the clinicians will all benefit from the patients teaching the clinicians which kind of medicine works best for them. Meanwhile the novice should understand that you must start the dose at a very small quantity and build up slowly for days or even weeks to reach an optimal dose.

One of the more telling aspects of this science comes from a paper in print last year.  It is from a couple of prominent researchers at NIDA, Pacher and Kunos.  They say: “modulating endocannabinoid activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans, including obesity/metabolic syndrome, diabetes and diabetic complications, neurodegenerative, inflammatory, cardiovascular, liver, gastrointestinal, skin diseases, pain, psychiatric disorders, cachexia, cancer, chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting among many others.

While the monied interest appear positioned to develop cannabis medicines as single molecule pharmaceuticals, people throughout the country wish for the day when we will free the plant from the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and allow cannabis to be grown for personal use and  thereby bring an end to the very divisive and destructive War on Drugs here and abroad.

Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD, President of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, Sebastopol, CA.