Two years after Florida voters overwhelmingly approved the use of medical marijuana, Gov. Rick Scott continues to try to stop patients with chronic diseases from smoking a drug their doctors say could help them.
It’s not just the governor who’s stood in the way of the 2016 constitutional amendment that legalized cannabis for certain patients, an amendment approved by 72 percent of Florida voters.
Last year the Florida Legislature passed a law banning smokable cannabis, a method proponents say is easier, less expensive and brings quicker relief than edibles, vaporizers, oils and sprays.
For understandable reasons last month, a circuit court judge struck down the smoking ban.
The constitutional amendment references smoking, after all. It says smoking medical marijuana in public places doesn’t have to be accommodated. It’s clear the amendment anticipates that cannabis would be smoked — just not in public places.
Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers ruled the ban violates patients’ constitutional rights. In her 22-page ruling, she said Floridians “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians, including the use of smokable marijuana in private places.”
But here comes the governor, announcing he would appeal the ruling. The state Department of Health argues it “goes against what the Legislature outlined when they wrote and approved Florida’s law.”
Don’t you hate how government can endlessly fight something it doesn’t like, while spending someone else’s money — yours?
Florida’s new medical marijuana amendment will allow doctors to order medical marijuana for people suffering from certain medical conditions. Click through to see which conditions make a patient eligible for treatment.
In addition, the ballot language gives doctors the power to order marijuana for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class