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Smoking Medical Marijuana in Florida

On November 8th, 2016, 71 percent of Florida voters showed their support for the legalization of medical marijuana. This legislation legalized vaporized, edible and oil forms of marijuana, however, it did not legalize smoking medical marijuana.

Orlando lawyer and medical marijuana advocate, John Morgan, filed a lawsuit on behalf of 2 patients. One of these patients suffers from HIV & neuropathy while the other has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease.) Both of these patients would benefit greatly from being able to legally smoke marijuana.

The State argued that smoking marijuana was not an effective medical treatment. Lawmakers also claimed that this was a clandestine attempt to legalize recreational pot.

Luckily, Judge Karen Gievers decided that the State’s argument was irrelevant. She said that the testimonies of the patients that have experienced the therapeutic effects of smokable marijuana were much more compelling than the testimonies of the State’s handpicked medical experts. As a result, Judge Gievers ruled the ban on smoking medical marijuana unconstitutional on May 25th 2018.

This was a huge win for the medical marijuana movement. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there. Devin Galetta of the Department of Health, filed an appeal which put an immediate stay on the ruling.

John Morgan has continued to fight for patient access to smokable medical marijuana. He said, “The voters of Florida wanted this. It was clear in the intent language and in the ballot language. Smoked marijuana is the most effective and quickest delivery system, period.” Morgan has also claimed the stay may have something to do with the relationship between politicians and ‘Big Pharma’. The opioid industry is booming. Pharmaceutical companies could potentially lose millions of dollars.

Furthermore, Morgan continues to call out Florida Governor, Rick Scott, saying that he has the power to drop the appeal. “(Scott) is going to have to explain to veterans and really sick people and people who have really bad injuries why you kept this going,” he said. He went on to say, “Rick Scott is the boss and the buck stops there.” Morgan claims by not doing so, he is “playing with political wildfire” since the majority of Florida voters voted in favor of all forms of medical marijuana.

Judge Gievers is supposed to make a decision on the appeal any day now. Morgan has also said that if he has to, he will expedite it to the State Supreme Court to force a resolution. Scott will be forced to move forward on a topic he’s been fighting against for years if the ban is lifted. 

71 percent of Florida voters have agreed that smoking medical marijuana should be legal. Delaying access to this incredible medicine is cruel and unnecessary; no one should have to live in pain.

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