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Channel 9 gets their woman

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Jodi James is an avid, Brevard-based advocate for the legalization of medicinal marijuana. She's also a self-professed daily pot smoker, and a candidate for the District 31 seat in the Florida House.

In 1988, James got caught up (peripherally, she says) in a drug bust involving 100 hits of LSD. She served eight months in an Ohio penitentiary. All of which you would know if you'd read her website, www.jodijames.org, or happened to see a copy of "Florida Today" from Oct. 5.

Perhaps one of these "sources" tipped off the crusading journalists at WFTV Channel 9, leading to its Oct. 26 story outing James for her 14-year-old crime.

James was contacted by WFTV health reporter Barbara West for an interview on medical marijuana. Ten minutes into the interview, West popped the question about the drug bust.

Unethical? James thinks so. "I left a message on Ms. West's machine telling her that if she wanted me to talk about this issue, I would have been happy to do that," James says.

In the spirit of journalistic camaraderie, Orlando Weekly would like to offer Channel 9 a few more hot news tips: John Mazziotti, former mayor and current council member of Palm Bay, was convicted in 1972 for selling an ounce of pot, and also in 1973 for smuggling amphetamines from Canada (Associated Press, June 26, 1999); terrorists attacked the World Trade Center (every newspaper in the world, Sept. 12, 2001); scientists found a tiny probe proving aliens walk among us ("Weekly World News," Oct. 29).

Go get 'em.

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