State Watch

Florida judge rules state ban on smokable medical marijuana is unconstitutional


A Florida judge on Friday ruled that the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana is unconstitutional.

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers wrote in her ruling that residents “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians.”

The Florida health department said that it has appealed the ruling, resulting in an automatic stay, according to The Associated Press.

Medical marijuana advocates praised Gievers’s ruling as a victory for patients.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Health said in a statement to the AP that Gievers’s ruling “goes against what the legislature outlined when they wrote and approved the law to implement the constitutional amendment that was approved.”

{mosads}Florida legalized medical marijuana through a constitutional amendment in 2016. The following year, state lawmakers passed measures to ban the sale of smoking products, saying that patients could use medical marijuana through other methods, such as vaping, food and oils.

The Orlando attorney who challenged the ban on smoking products filed the lawsuit on behalf of two terminal patients who said that smokable medical marijuana was more effective for their conditions than vaping.

Cathy Jordan, a patient in the lawsuit who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, said that smoking medical marijuana has helped prolong her life, despite doctors telling her in 1986 that she only had three to five more years to live.

“So many people won’t smoke due to the stigma and it being against the law. This is legitimate medicine,” she told the AP. “This ruling is not just for me but for many other people.”

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