Florida governor and commissioner urged legislature to end medical marijuana smoke ban
For the people of Florida, who overwhelmingly supported the medical marijuana back in 2016, the amendment to state’s law to end a ban on smokable medical marijuana is in sight.
Talking to media, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized the inaction of the legislature to address the ban on smokable medical marijuana. He announced Thursday that if they don’t fix it by mid-March, he will resort to the other way to lift the ban.
Setting a deadline of March, DeSantis made it clear if the legislature fails to address the smoking issue, he will withdraw an appeal that was filed under his predecessor, now U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, requesting the court to keep the ban in place. He urged lawmakers to amend the law in a way people want it to be; otherwise, he would let the courts resolve it instead of the lawmakers.
“I want to have the elected representatives write the law in a way the people intended, so we’ll give them a couple of weeks in session to address the smoking issue, and if they don’t do it, we’re going to dismiss the case and move on,” DeSantis said.
John Morgan who sued the state over the smoking ban, declaring “No smoke is a joke,” was also present during the DeSantis’s media talk in Winter Park. Morgan expressed optimism that legislature will make amendments allowing people to use marijuana as a substitute for opioids.
“This is critical to the healthcare in Florida. You have to remember this, marijuana is a substitute for opioids. And opioids now kill more people in America than car wrecks,” Morgan said.
Pointing to the overwhelming majority of 71% by which Floridians voted in favor of medical marijuana legalization, DeSantis said, the move is meant to respect people’s will.
“Whether they have to smoke it or not who am I to judge that? I want people to have their suffering relieved,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis further vowed to amend the law concerned to licensing limits.
“They created a cartel, essentially,” he said. “That is not good policy, so I’d like them to address that as well.”
Following DeSantis’s call on the legislature to act to end the ban on smokable medical marijuana, Commissioner Nikki Fried also urged lawmakers to respect people’s will.
“When the people overwhelmingly voted for legalized medical marijuana in 2016, they intended for the medicine to be accessible by patients in the manner which their doctor, not Tallahassee politicians, decides is best for their treatment.”
Arguing that a ban on medical marijuana is hurting people suffering from serious illnesses, she stated.
“Every day that medical marijuana in the pure plant form is unavailable to patients, Floridians continue to suffer. This is an issue I’ve seen firsthand throughout our state and country, and one that touches my family personally — my mother was recently diagnosed with cancer, and she is struggling to find medicine that relieves her suffering. The fact that she can’t access the medicine she needs breaks my heart.”