Today was a great day for medical cannabis patients in Florida. A Leon County circuit court judge ruled today that a medical cannabis smoking ban in Florida is unconstitutional.
Florida voters overwhelmingly approved medical cannabis legalization during the 2016 General Election.
In addition to garnering over 71% of the overall state vote, the successful initiative received a majority of votes in every single Florida county.
The successful initiative resulted in Florida’s Legislature being tasked with coming up with public policies that would govern the state’s medical cannabis program.
One of the provisions that was passed was a cannabis smoking ban. That ban was overturned today.
The ban will, unfortunately, remain in place, for now
Very quickly after the ruling was handed down the Florida Department of Health announced that it would appeal the verdict.
“This ruling goes against what the legislature outlined when they wrote and approved Florida’s law to implement the constitutional amendment that was approved by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority.” a spokesman for the Department said according to Tampa Bay Times.
While the ban was overturned at the circuit level, the appeal automatically results in the ban remaining in place until the issue can be further adjudicated.
“Florida Governor Scott didn’t even wait 10 minutes to file his notice of appeal. He IS the department of health. This is HIS case. Rick this type of meanness will COST you the US Senate seat. THIS is what the PEOPLE voted for!” state the medical cannabis initiative’s organizer, high-profile attorney John Morgan on Twitter.
Why do medical cannabis patients need smokable forms of cannabis?
Different patients and conditions necessitate different forms and methods of cannabis consumption.
Just as some pharmaceutical medications and treatment regimens involve different delivery methods, so too does cannabis and some of the conditions that patients suffer from.
Smoking cannabis results in a very quick onset of relief. For some patients waiting for an edible to take effect is less desirable since the onset of wellness benefits can take an hour or more.
Also, some patients cannot afford processed cannabis products such as vaporizer cartridges, topicals, or other consumables.
For patients that are on a budget, cannabis flower purchased for the purpose of being smoked is the most affordable option and if it doesn’t exist, they will be forced to go without medicine.
Patients in Florida and everywhere else deserve to purchase and smoke cannabis flower if it helps provide relief.
How long will the legal battle take?
Until the appeal completely runs its course the cannabis smoking ban will remain in effect.
It could be a very long time before the issue is ultimately resolved via the court process.
Even if the state of Florida loses the appeal, it can appeal the case all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court does not have to hear the case if it makes it that far, but regardless, there’s a much faster way for the issue to be resolved.
The state of Florida can drop its appeal and respect the will of over 71% of Florida voters. If you live in Florida, contact your lawmakers and demand that the appeal be withdrawn!