The cannabis smoking battle building in the state of Florida began earlier this year with John Morgan, the well-known trial lawyer out of Orlando, threatening a lawsuit against the state if its congressional body did not include the smoking of legal medical marijuana in the rules it was to implement. John Morgan was the sponsor of Amendment 2 that voters approved last year to legalize medical marijuana and he believes the amendment made clear that smoking of medical marijuana on private residences would be permissible and that smoking is essential for certain conditions to properly see the benefits of cannabis. Florida’s rules did not end-up allowing for the smoking of medical marijuana and so Mr. Morgan followed-through on his threat and filed a lawsuit a couple of weeks ago.
Now, Representative Ray Rodrigues is speaking out against Mr. Morgan’s argument that smoking of marijuana is helpful medically. Do you believe John Morgan’s battle to legalize smoking of medical marijuana is justified?
Both the legislation to regulate Florida’s booming medical marijuana industry and Amendment 2 might be in the rearview mirror, but House bill sponsor Ray Rodrigues and Orlando attorney John Morgan aren’t done sparring over medical marijuana just yet.
On Monday, Florida House Majority Leader and primary sponsor for the bill to regulate Florida’s medical marijuana industry, Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, took a swipe at Morgan’s newly-filed lawsuit to allow smokeable medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.
Citing studies showing smoking is an ineffective way to ingest the drug, Rodrigues said the majority of Florida voters don’t support recreational medical marijuana — and neither does he.
“It’s clear that the citizens of Florida supported legalizing marijuana for medical purposes,” said Rodrigues. “They did not support marijuana for recreational purposes. We were polling the entire time. Medical marijuana was frequently above 70 percent… recreational marijuana was never above 50 percent in the polling we were doing. It consistently polled in the 40’s.”
Under Florida’s new medical marijuana law, vaporizing, edibles and oral capsules are some of the ways patients can ingest cannabis, but smoking is prohibited.
When Amendment 2 author John Morgan caught wind of the comments, he wasted no time firing back, addressing Rodrigues directly in a series of tweets posted Wednesday morning.
“Your constituents will need #MedicalMarijuana more than most,” Morgan wrote. “I’m fighting for them while you’re fighting against them.”
Morgan questioned whether the state would emerge victorious in his lawsuit, which asks Florida to declare the new medical marijuana law unenforceable because it lacks one key way for patients to ingest the drug: by smoking it. Morgan also disagreed with Rodrigues over whether or not smoking was an effective way to take the drug and has repeatedly criticized any legislation prohibiting it as “a joke.” “Inhalation is a medically effective and efficient way to deliver Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids, to the bloodstream,” wrote Morgan in the suit. Amendment 2, which passed with 71 percent of the vote last November, prohibits the smoking of medical marijuana in public places. Morgan says the underlying implication is that medical cannabis can be smoked in private. Morgan continued to prod at Rodrigues, questioning whether he would support the newly-minted law all the way through the court system. “If the state loses will [Rodrigues] personally reimburse the state for his folly?” Morgan asked. “Money talks. Bullsh*t walks. Put your money where your mouth is fella.”
Rodrigues has not responded to Morgan’s tweets and had not returned Sunshine State News’ calls at the time of this article’s release.