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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

Marijuana & The Election; #FluVaxJax; Hunger Action Month; 'Artists Pick Artists'

A medical marijuna nursery is pictured in this file photo.
Gerald Herbert
Associated Press
A medical marijuna nursery is pictured in this file photo.



Edible medical marijuana products have been approved, four years after Florida voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana. 


Further cannabis reform is expected to be a factor in the upcoming presidential election, as it remains a popular bipartisan issue. TheBiden-Harris campaign wants to fully decriminalize marijuana.


President Donald Trump has asked Republicans to keep marijuana legalization off the ballots. Forbes has reported that Trump has fears that cannabis could cost him the election and requests regular updates where legalization is on a 2020 ballot.


We spoke to local attorney Sally Kent Peebles, a partner with Vicente Sederberg and member of the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee, about edibles, how the state’s cannabis industry is weathering the pandemic, and the role marijuana could play in the upcoming election.



The Duval County Medical Society Foundation, in partnership with a variety of community organizations and the city of Jacksonville, launched the #FluVaxJax campaign this week with a goal of increasing the rate of influenza vaccinations on the First Coast.


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, another surge of the virus could coincide with the influenza season. If hospitalizations increase and there too many ICU beds in use, hospital systems could become overwhelmed and jeopardize the health of our region.


Dr. Sunil Joshi, president of the Duval Medical Society Foundation, joined us with more on the #FluVaxJax campaign and the importance of annual vaccinations.


Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month, a month celebrating people across America who are standing up to and helping combat hunger.


The pandemic has caused more families to seek help. Nationwide, approximately 4 in 10 people visiting a food bank now need assistance as a result of COVID-19.

Feeding America estimates that 54 million people may be food insecure in 2020, including 18 million children.


Many of the families that Feeding America food banks serve work part-time or full-time jobs. However, low wages, underemployment, and expenses like rent prevent families from meeting their basic needs.


Susan King of Feeding Northeast Florida spoke with us about how the First Coast is responding to the food crisis during the pandemic.


Artists Pick Artists


LaVilla is the original storied home of much of Jacksonville's African American musical heritage. In a new outdoor exhibition, Artists Pick Artists, more than a century of local musical heroes will be celebrated through portraits by contemporary Jacksonville artists.


We spoke to Paul Sifton of 927 Events andGlenn Weiss of the Cultural Council about the project.


Katherine Hobbs can be reached at or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.