Florida ban on smokable medical marijuana ruled unconstitutional

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A Florida judge has ruled the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana is unconstitutional.The Legislature last year included a provision banning it from being smoked. Plaintiffs argued that because the amendment’s language only mentions smoking in public, users should be allowed to smoke in private. | AP file photo

TALLAHASSEE — A Florida judge has ruled the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana is unconstitutional.

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled in favor of People United for Medical Marijuana and two patients challenging the ban.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 allowing the use of medical marijuana through vaping and in food, oils, sprays and tinctures. The Legislature last year included a provision banning it from being smoked, and Gov. Rick Scott signed the measure into law in June.

The plaintiffs argued that because the amendment’s language only mentions smoking in public, users should be allowed to smoke in private.

John Morgan, who led the push to get medical marijuana legalized in Florida, was among the plaintiffs.

He tweeted after the ruling that “truth prevails.”

Kim Rivers, the CEO of Trulieve, hailed the ruling. Trulieve is one of the dominant players in the fledgling industry.

“Trulieve stands ready to provide Florida patients flower and the medical benefits the entourage effects that full flower cannabis provides,” she said. “We look forward to guidance from the Department of Health on next steps to approve this next form of medicine for patients.”


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