Florida Bans Smokeable Cannabis
Medical cannabis is Florida has had a tough row to hoe. On Tuesday, July 3, an appellate court refused to allow smokable medical marijuana as the legal fight continues to play out.
A three-judge panel ruled in the lawsuit initiated by Orlando trial attorney John Morgan and others who maintain that a Florida law barring patients from smoking medical cannabis is a contradiction to the 2016 constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana with a nearly 68% majority.
Circuit Judge, Karen Gievers, in May agreed with Morgan then the state appealed and touched off more legal wrangling that led to the appellate panel issuing a five-page decision that effectively blocked Gievers’ ruling while the case continues.
Morgan, who is said to have bankrolled the constitutional amendment, said in an email Tuesday. “It is just a waste of time and taxpayer money. Cathy Jordan may die as this snails its way through the system. All of this proves why people don’t trust politicians. They know what they voted for.”
Morgan was referring to Cathy Jordan, one of the plaintiffs in the case, who has said that daily consumption of cannabis has kept her alive decades after doctors predicted she would die from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jordan, who grows her own, testified that smoking marijuana treats a variety of life-threatening side effects of the disease and that other forms of ingestion have not had the same positive impact.
Judge Gievers agreed with lawyers representing Jordan and the other plaintiffs. They contended that it was understood that the constitutional amendment allowed smoking, though it did not expressly authorize it.
In the past, Judge Gievers invoked both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in her decisions and highlighted Washington's characterization of the constitution as a "sacred obligation."
"Just as no person is above the law, the legislature must heed the constitutional rights Floridians placed in the Constitution in 2016," she wrote in the Tampa Bay Times.