Although Florida’s medical marijuana law does not allow patients to smoke their medicine, the rules of the program could change if a new lawsuit proves successful.
According to a report from the Miami Herald, Orlando attorney John Morgan has filed a lawsuit against the state asking for the courts to toss out the implementation rules approved last month through the legislative process. Morgan, who was one of the key forces behind the 2014 and 2016 push to legalize medical marijuana, wants to the court to give patients the freedom to smoke since “Inhalation is a medically effective and efficient way to deliver Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids, to the bloodstream.”
The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday morning in Leon County Circuit Court, suggests that “by redefining the constitutionally defined term ‘medical use' to exclude smoking, the Legislature substitutes its medical judgment for that of ‘a licensed Florida physician’ and is in direct conflict with the specifically articulated Constitutional process.”
When Florida voters hit the polls last year, more than 71 percent approved the concept of a comprehensive program where cannabis could be smoked. However, as soon as the issue entered the realm of the state legislature, both Democrats and Republicans agreed the herb should not be consumed in this manner. Instead, lawmakers directed a policy giving patients the availability of only edibles, oils and vaporizers.
While negotiating the implementation of the medical marijuana program, Lawmakers argued that allowing marijuana to be smoked was nothing more than a “backdoor” to full legalization.
Morgan plans to combat the no-smoking rule by directing attention to a 2012 study published in the journals of the American Medical Association that found no lung damage as result of marijuana smoke.
“Despite decades of marijuana being used for smoking in the United States, there have been no reported medical cases of lung cancer or emphysema attributed to marijuana,’’ the lawsuit reads.
If the court sides with Morgan, it would then be up to the Florida Department of Health to craft a new set of rules.