The smoking of medical marijuana flower was banned by the state of Florida when it implemented the rules surrounding the state’s medical marijuana program. Legislators argued that the benefits of smoking medical marijuana flower did not outweigh the adverse health effects. Shortly after their decision to ban the smoking of medical marijuana flower, John Morgan, the famous Florida lawyer and instrumental facilitator of Amendment 2, sued the state for banning smoking. Now, a member of the Florida Senate, Gary Farmer out of Ft. Lauderdale, has proposed a bill for the state to consider during its next legislative session in January. The bill, if passed, would allow the smoking of medical marijuana.
In other states that have legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes, consumers can purchase marijuana pre-rolls and loose flower to smoke, vape or cook with. Marijuana flower is also cheaper for medical marijuana treatment centers to produce and consumers to buy versus the concentrates that are currently available. Have you looked into Florida’s medical marijuana program? Click here to learn more.
Amid a legal battle about the issue, a Senate Democrat on Thursday filed a proposal that would undo a ban on patients smoking medical marijuana.
Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, filed the bill (SB 726) for consideration during the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January. Lawmakers in June passed a measure to carry out a November 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.
The measure bars smoking marijuana while allowing patients to use cannabis through other means, including vaping. Backers of the constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 2, filed a lawsuit this summer in Leon County circuit court challenging the ban on smoking.
The lawsuit remains pending, but Farmer’s bill would resolve the dispute by allowing smoking. “Each and every legislator including myself swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the State of Florida,” Farmer said in a prepared statement Thursday.
“An overwhelming majority of voters ratified Amendment 2, and its intent could not be more clear: to allow for the use of medical marijuana, including smoking.”
But House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, an Estero Republican who has played a key role on marijuana issues, told reporters gathered Thursday for an Associated Press event that the House won’t go along with allowing cannabis to be smoked.
Florida health officials are under fire for the slow implementation of the latest medical marijuana law. State lawmakers are rejecting the department’s excuses.