Home / Cannabis / Hearing on smoking or no smoking of medical marijuana in Florida set for Jan 25
Medical Cannabis In Hand

Hearing on smoking or no smoking of medical marijuana in Florida set for Jan 25

A Tallahassee judge will hear argument next month on whether to throw out Orlando attorney John Morgan‘s lawsuit over Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana.

Jim Rosica | Florida Politics

Circuit Judge Karen Gievers scheduled a Jan. 25 hearing on the state’s motion to dismiss, court records show.

The suit originally was filed in July by People United for Medical Marijuana, the political committee behind the constitutional amendment on medicinal cannabis approved last year.

Morgan, of Morgan & Morgan law firm fame, bankrolled the amendment that was OK’d by a whopping 71 percent of voters. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment that the smoking ban runs counter to the amendment’s language.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN FLORIDA – BACKGROUND

Lawmakers have since approved and Gov. Rick Scott signed into law an implementing bill (SB 8-A) for the amendment that does not allow medicinal marijuana to be smoked.

House Republican Leader Ray Rodrigues, who sponsored the implementing bill, has said “we don’t believe you smoke medicine.” Edibles and “vaping”—heating cannabis and inhaling the steam—are permitted.

Deputy Solicitor General Denise Harle argues that “the plain language of the Amendment refutes” Morgan’s case.

The plaintiffs, who include patients qualified to use medicinal cannabis, “do not even try to claim that the constitutional text … actually states that smoking must be permitted.”

Indeed, when Morgan spoke to reporters this summer after filing suit in Tallahassee, he said he included the language in an “intent statement,” but not in the text of the amendment.

The amendment says “(n)othing in this section shall require any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any correctional institution or detention facility or place of education or employment, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT FLORIDA POLITICS

About Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica
Jim Rosica covers state government for Florida Politics. He previously covered Florida government news for the Tampa Tribune and The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including the 2000 presidential recount.

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