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.
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.
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.”