Should Florida let patients smoke marijuana? A judge is hearing arguments

The fight for medical marijuana went to court Wednesday, as the trial began in Orlando attorney John Morgan’s lawsuit against the state’s prohibition on smoking as a method for sick patients to consume the drug.

Morgan, who spearheaded and financed the successful campaign to make medical access to cannabis a constitutional right, filed suit in Leon County last July asking the court to declare unenforceable the law passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott that implemented the 2016 constitutional amendment.

The law allows for oils, sprays, tinctures, vaping and edibles as a delivery option to patients authorized to use medical marijuana, but it excludes smoking as a method for medical treatment.

Florida voters approved the constitutional amendment authorizing the use of marijuana as a medical treatment for people with debilitating medical conditions in 2016, with 71 percent voting yes. Morgan and his attorneys argue the public intended that access to the drug would be through smoking, in addition to the nonsmoking options authorized by lawmakers.

The law is “directly inconsistent with the text of the Constitution,” said Jon Mills, attorney for the plaintiffs — two marijuana advocacy organizations and two sick patients who are seeking but have not been able to legally obtain marijuana for their ailments.

The definition voters approved included “all types of medical marijuana, including flower, which is smokeable marijuana,” he said. “If the state is able to prohibit smokeable marijuana, why shouldn’t they be able to prohibit vaping? Why shouldn’t they be able to prohibit edibles? Why shouldn’t they be able to prohibit medical marijuana?”

Rachel Nordby, the lawyer for the state, argued that the implementing law is “entirely consistent” with the constitution because the state “has a role in setting parameters and it can absolutely base those parameters on health and

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