Last year, 71 percent of Florida residents voted to expand the medical marijuana laws in the state. The amendment opened up the use of marijuana for a wider variety of patients and would allow for a vaster range of medical marijuana products and strains to be accessible to the public. The only mention of smoking in the bill bans its use in public places. However, 1 month ago, legislature voted to ban smoking altogether. Oils, pills, edibles and vaporizers are accepted yet, as of last month, Governor Rick Scott signed a law into place that would bans all smokable forms of cannabis.
“Ignoring the Will of the People”
John Morgan, the high profile attorney who spearheaded the ballot to expand the medical marijuana program, has filed a lawsuit against the state for creating the ban. He is stating that in order for smoking not to be allowed in public, it must be presumed that it is allowed in private. “In my amendment, it said smoking is not allowed in public places, so everybody understood that smoke was to be allowed,” Morgan said. “It’s just another act of the legislature ignoring the will of the people.”
Conditions for Which Smoking is the Best Delivery Method
Morgan also discusses the medical benefits of smoking cannabis. For some, THC is delivered best through this method. His lawsuit states 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.” PTSD is one of the conditions that has often been found to be better treated by smoking cannabis as opposed to any of the other methods. In any case, it still serves a medicinal purpose.
Studies on Marijuana Smoke
Legislature voted to ban smoking because they called it unhealthy but Morgan is claiming that this isn’t the truth. He says if they were really concerned about the negative impact of smoking then they would ban tobacco. According to a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012, smoking marijuana does not impair the lungs and, when smoked in moderation, it actually increases lung capacity.
Morgan has turned to social media for support in changing this bill. He is spreading the hashtag #NoSmokeIsAJoke. He believes that the ban is a silent campaign run by “Big Pharma” who has profited immensely from opioid abuse. Prescription opioids cause thousands of deaths every year but in states that have legalized medical marijuana, opioid related hospital visits are down by 23 percent. Opioid abuse in general is down in states that have legalized medical marijuana.
Given all the facts, Morgan is confident about winning the lawsuit, which means that Florida residents will get the benefits of the amendment that they overwhelmingly voted into law. Florida patients have been waiting for years for the state to approve a medical marijuana system that will allow Floridians the same medical benefits given to others in states with healthy legalized medical marijuana industries. Now they have a chance to be afforded the same rights.