Last Call for 7.9.24 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

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A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Libertarians are coming out in support of the ballot amendment legalizing recreational marijuana.

The Libertarian Party of Florida released a statement on Monday endorsing Amendment 3, saying that the ideals of the amendment align with the party’s core principles.

“This amendment reflects the growing recognition that individuals should have the freedom to make their own choices regarding cannabis use,” the statement read. “By supporting Amendment 3, we affirm our commitment to personal liberty and the right to make decisions free from government interference.”

Despite the endorsement, the Libertarian Party emphasized in their statement that the amendment does not go far enough for marijuana legal protections. They said it is crucial to advocate for legalizing homegrown cannabis in the state, removing more restrictions on marijuana sale and use, and pushing for a free market approach to cannabis dictated by supply and demand.

Amendment 3, which will appear on the November ballot, would legalize the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana for adults 21 years or older, and require medical marijuana centers to sell it for recreational use.

Currently, only medical marijuana is legal in Florida. Without a medical marijuana card, possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor, while holding over 20 grams can result in a felony charge.

A recent poll shows that around 64% of Florida voters support legalizing recreational cannabis. This foreshadows a possible win for the initiative, as it needs 60% support to pass.

Evening Reads

—“House Democrats move subtly toward acceptance of Joe Biden staying in the race” via Mariana Alfaro, Marianna Sotomayor and Jacqueline Alemany of The Washington Post

—“How Biden’s inner circle worked to keep signs of aging under wraps” via Andrew Restuccia, Annie Linskey, Emily Glazer, Rebecca Ballhaus and Erich Schwartzel of The Wall Street Journal

—“Biden team to put up anti-Donald Trump billboards across Miami” via Jeffrey Schweers of the Orlando Sentinel

—“Welcome to Mar-a-NATO: European leaders tailor their message to Trump” via Miles J. Herszenhorn of POLITICO Magazine

—“The 26 must-see lines from Trump’s interview with Sean Hannity” via Chris Cillizza of So What

—“For Kamala Harris, the challenge of getting ready without getting ready” via Peter Baker and Katie Rogers of The New York Times

—“It’s Ron DeSantis decision time if Marco Rubio wins Trump’s veepstakes” via A.G. Gancarski for the New York Post

—“Three years after Piney Point disaster, Florida settles lawsuit with environment groups” via Max Chesnes of the Tampa Bay Times

—“Florida School Board, sued for book bans, wants to take testimony of 7-year-old student” via Douglas Soule of the Tallahassee Democrat

—“2024 hurricane season outlook just grew bigger: 25 named storms now expected by experts” via Bill Kearney of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Quote of the Day

“Women haven’t forgotten, and we can’t be fooled.”

— First Lady Jill Biden, on Trump’s claim he’s a “moderate” on abortion rights.

Put It on the Tab

Look to your left, then look to your right. If you see one of these people at your happy hour haunt, flag down the bartender and put one of these on your tab. Recipes included, just in case the Cocktail Codex fell into the well.

Biden’s struggling campaign is putting up a little fight in Florida with some new anti-Trump billboards. It probably won’t sway many voters, but pat them on the back with a Roadside Tea.

There’s a color change coming for the back lights on Florida fire trucks, so snag a Blue Light Special for the people charged with changing all those bulbs.

Floridians are among the “savviest savers” in the country. Celebrate those flush bank accounts with a Dividend Dazzle.

Breakthrough Insights

Tune In

Rays open series vs. Yankees

If the Tampa Bay Rays are to make the second half of the season meaningful, they can take a big step this week in a three-game series against the New York Yankees beginning tonight (6:50 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Sun).

The Rays (44-46) sit 5.5 games back in the race for the final wild-card spot in the American League. The Yankees (55-37) hold the top spot in the wild-card standings and trail the Baltimore Orioles by three games in the American League East.

The Rays began the month by taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals, a team Tampa is chasing in the wild card standings. Then, they were swept in three games by the Texas Rangers. 

The Yankees also stumble, losing seven of their last 10 games. 

Tampa Bay’s Isaac Paredes learned on Sunday morning that he would represent the Rays on the American League All-Star team. He was an addition to the roster by the Commissioner’s Office.

Paredes, 25, leads the team in home runs (14), RBIs (47), and OPS (.820), and he is tied for the team lead with 17 doubles.

If the Rays can take two of three in the series, they could inch close to the final wild-card spot as the All-Star break approaches.

___

Last Call is published by Peter Schorsch, assembled and edited by Phil Ammann and Drew Wilson, with contributions from the staff of Florida Politics.

Staff Reports


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