字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 He is a trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience. He regularly appears on Fox News, CNBC, Al Jazeera, iHeart Radio and Yahoo! to discuss breaking legal news stories. He's recognized as one of the leading insurance litigation and sinkhole attorneys in Florida. And when he's not battling large insurance companies on behalf of policy holders, Mr Corless authors and presents lectures throughout the United States on a wide variety of topics, including cannabis legalization, insurance coverage, complex expert testimony, criminal law, sports and entertainment law and insurance bad faith. As I noted, he's been working on a book, he can tell you a little bit more about when he anticipates it coming out, but he's had it in the works for a couple of years now. So please, help me welcome Mr. Ted Corless. Thank you very much and as a lawyer of 20 years, talking to people who voluntarily spend their days with lawyers, you have my sincerest apologies. Marijuana is coming to mainstream. Right now it's in 28 states. I am right now violating the law in the State of Florida, depending on who you ask. If you are carrying less than 20 grams of plant material in the State of Florida and you're stopped by a police officer, you're probably going to get a $75 fine. If you're stopped by a sheriff you're probably going to get a misdemeanor, it's going to cost you around $400. So I have $475 with me at all times whenever I travel. And so far no one has asked me to give that to them. Light-heartedly the issue is, is that let's begin by saying that what I want to do in the next few minutes is to introduce you to this plant. I want to tell you why this plant has been so relevant to me. And then, I'm going to show you why it should be relevant to you. And when we're done with that, I'm going to need your help. Why am I talking about marijuana? I have been practicing law, I was licensed in the state of Missouri in 1995 and I immediately started working for the biggest, the nastiest law firms I ever could. And I enjoyed that, I really did. I spent several years working for companies that represented some of the largest oil producers in the United States. I represented large tobacco companies as a senior associate at Shook, Hardy & Bacon. And I represented some of the biggest insurance companies in the world when I was an attorney at Carlton Fields. But looking way back in my past, 1988 when I was 22 years old, I moderated a debate between a member of the DEA, an agent in the DEA, who debated the Missouri President of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Very little publicity, and this was in 1988, and a thousand people showed up. And I've pretty much been hooked on marijuana since then. Now, if you, let's begin with what Dana was saying, we know this plant is a variety of things and that the reason why it is presented on the board in this way is to show it's simplicity. Lots of interesting things to know about this particular plant. If we're going to be technically accurate, we call it cannabis sativa. And then if any of you have been tinkering with cannabis over the last couple of years, you would also hear another description of cannabis, indica, and if you really get into it, you'd know it as cannabis ruderalis, which is the kind of cannabis that we use to make rope. Thomas Jefferson used all three forms of it to make rope and to smoke a little. Now, marijuana is coming to mainstream because a lot of people were tired of the manner in which the federal government was regulating this product. Now I joked earlier about, it depends on who stops me, regarding what the charge would be. That's called arbitrary enforcement of the law. Now what do we know, what happens when we arbitrarily enforce the law, who suffers when that happens? It's usually not lawyers like me. It's usually not adults like me. It's usually not white people like me. You see, people ask me what is the most effective way I can protect myself about being arrested if cannabis is somehow in the picture. If I get caught with it or someone else does. My suggestion to you, first thing: be white! Because if you're black, you have a four times, four times the chances to be arrested for possession of cannabis. Even though the numbers reflect that white people smoke pot more than people of color. Now why is this , why are we having these disagreements. Well it's a real simple word that we just heard Jeff Sessions use recently, called the Supremacy Clause. Now see, Republicans like to talk about cannabis because they're going to protect us from it. Now the reality is, is when you hear you're being protected by the federal government, you should be very afraid. Now, why are we having this problem? Well, a lot of it has to do with the fact that this plant is pretty special. It's been around for over 3,000 years. We have Egyptian hieroglyphics that show cannabis being consumed by pharaoh. He had a really good grower. And I, if you want to know the best places to grow marijuana, if you've ever been there and you've enjoyed wine, that's where you want to grow marijuana. You're in the, what's commonly referred to as the Emerald Triangle in California, which prior to 1996, 80% of all cannabis grown in the United States was grown in 3 counties in Northern California: Mendencino, Humboldt and Sonoma. And if you've ever been to wine country, you'll know that it's everywhere. Always ask the bar tenders. Because right now, while California recently passed recreational marijuana, it has not yet been rolled out yet. Or rolled up! Alright, so what happens is in 1996 there were a whole bunch of people in California that decided they didn't really care what the Supremacy Clause said. That Main Street was taking marijuana back from the federal government, who's held it hostage since 1937. Long time! The original prohibitions on cannabis that were formulated in 1937 were by a gentleman by the name of Henry Anslinger. Mr Anslinger was a racist. He hung out with people from the Klan and he loved to talk about jazz musicians. Because he was concerned about the influence of jazz culture on America's youth. Does that sound familiar to you? Any of you ever listen to Elvis? Ever hear stories about how Elvis was precluded from coming to places because they were threatened by his hips? Well Anslinger wanted to use cannabis, not necessarily to protect us from cannabis, but what he wanted to do is, he saw all these immigrants coming from Mexico. He also saw a lot of people of color moving to urban centers like Detroit, Chicago and New York. And they were bringing cannabis with them. And they needed something to be able to surveil them and to be able to arrest them to control their population. Let me put it this way. If people from Argentina had been coming through Mexico in 1937, yerba mate would be illegal. It had nothing to do with the plant. So when they passed the various laws that formed what would ultimately become the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis got put on the same list with PCP, but not with opioids. Why not? Well, because the people in the state of Florida that are now slow rolling Amendment 2, they don't want you to stop using opioids. Because in 2012, 1500 people. One thousand five hundred people just in the state of Florida, overdosed on legally prescribed opioids. The opioid epidemic in Chicago is the reason why El Chapo is able to sell Mexican heroin. Because Big Pharma was producing so many opioids by the pound, that when they finally figured out the epidemic they had created, they started restricting access to it. Well here's the problem, if you are a junkie on oxycontin, it doesn't matter, you've got to have heroin. There really isn't a difference between heroin and the other opioids. So marijuana in 1996 became a citizen's initiative in California, where the state of California said, "We're going to create a not-for-profit organization that will allow individuals to grow their own marijuana and even allow other people to grow it for them. As long as it's being sold not-for-profit." Now you can imagine, everyone in 1996 froze when that amendment passed. Well, nothing happened for almost 5 years. And a gentleman, who I met, walked into city hall on Market Street in San Francisco and said, "Good morning! I would like a permit to grow medical marijuana!" The guy kinda scratched his head, says, "I don't think we have one of those!" So those of you who know constitutional law would know, well, I'm going to file a writ of mandamus. I'm going to ask a court to order you to produce one. He walked out. An hour later he received a phone call. A man had sat down at a typewriter and prepared a permit application to allow you to grow medical marijuana. He took that permit and he wen to the Emerald Triangle and ultimately he became the mayor of Sebastapol, California. He asked those growers to come out of the light. And what I think I'm kind of asking you today, I want you to think about it. I want you to come out of the light too. I'm a pot smoker and I vote. Now, where are we in the state of Florida? Now in 2014, there was a citizen initiative that was placed on the ballot after they got the required number of votes necessary, or the signatures necessary to get it on the ballot as a constitutional initiative. You see, we have the pleasure of that ability. We have the ability to put a constitutional amendment on our ballot. We take that for granted, though. Because not every state in the United States has that. It's easy to find the states that don't have it. Did they ever have slavery? Yes! No citizens initiative there. There's no citizens initiative in Alabama. There's no citizens initiative right in Mississippi. Why? Because they don't want the population getting together and deciding what the constitution says. Instead, they're going to let the people who are in the legislature decide who, as of right now are in direct opposition to the will of the people. Now in Florida, Initiative... Amendment 2 failed in 2014, by only 3 percenage points. 57% of the people who voted, voted for it. It also happens to be right around the time period when one of the leading advocates for cannabis in the state of Florida was seen intoxicated on a YouTube video. Maybe you heard that story. So why am I talking to you about this? Well, I generally avoid talking to lawyers. Unless someone's paying me of course. But a lot of lawyers see themselves in different ways. I'm here today primarily, not as a lawyer, but as a public... private citizen exercising his First Amendment rights. Now, if you think this is a sensitive topic, since we published that we were going to be coming in here and I was going to be speaking on this topic, I received multiple e-mails from people who are here now, with questions about cannabis. Now we, we call it cannabis, not marijuana, because marijuana is a Mexican slang term and technically if you're talking about marijuana, you're not supposed to be talking about marijuana that would have come from the Hindu Kush Mountains. So I ask people to use the word cannabis.But my editor keeps changing that word. He doesn't like it. Alright, but it's relevant to you for a lot of reasons. And what I have been doing over the last several months is gathering a list of areas where we as people in the legal profession will be addressing cannabis on Main Street. And here's our list. Now I'm going to go through this list quickly and if, I'm going to think that probably all of you are going to find yourself somewhere on this list. But if you haven't found yourself on the list, I can even tell you the one thing that's not on there, because I'm being pretty honest about where we will see cannabis moving forward. But the one that's not on there is medical malpractice. You're really going to deal with medical... when would we deal with medical malpractice in the context of marijuana? Well so far I've not heard any issues associated with doctors performing procedures without fully understanding the cannabis history of the patient. I haven't seen that yet. That's the only reason it's not on the list. But everything else you see here, and I'm going to read through this quickly, are areas where you, as members of the professional, of the legal profession, will see cannabis on Main Street. Administrative Law. It's a highly regulated area and when Republicans regulate products that are sold to consumers, there's a lot of regulation! Because a lot of legislators don't like to talk about regulation unless it's cutting them, except when it comes to cannabis. I am now a card holder for medical marijuana in the state of Florida. In order to gain access to that, I had to file with an administrative agency my identity with copies of my birth certificate, my driver's license and I have to provide specific information from my doctor before the state will issue me permission to use it. My doctor told me if I would have preferred not to go through that, he would be happy to provide me with unlimited access to oxycontin. And in that context, he can write me a script as big as a blue ribbon hog and I can shovel in opioids as much as I want. And in all likelihood, if I consume them for more than 10 days, when I stopped taking them I will suffer from withdrawal. Okay, I'm getting a little distracted. Opioids distract me. Alright. Anti-Trust Law. Of course. We don't want our pot growers getting together an deciding what the price will be. I'll tell you right now that cannabis is selling in a variety of costs. But costs are coming down, because there are so many people producing it. Business Law. Of course. How do you put together a transaction between two people where one agrees to provide 10 pounds of cannabis while the other agrees to pay for it. If there's a breach of contract. Can you sue them? Now when I interviewed a lawyer in Colorado who spends his entire day dealing with these issues. He told me that as a law firm, they agreed that under no circumstances would they ever assert illegality of contract as a defense.