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Florida judge determining the future of smoking medical marijuana

Marijuana is legal for medical purposes in Florida thanks to a 2016 amendment. However, there is now a statewide ban prohibiting people from smoking medical cannabis. Many people benefit health-wise from smoking marijuana, including Cathy Jordan who is using the drug to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She is challenging this state ban on smokable marijuana.

According to Orlando Weekly, whether patients can legally obtain medical cannabis to smoke is now in the hands of Judge Karen Gievers in Leon County. Read below for more details on the ban and what may happen next.

Misunderstanding the language of the law

Despite the win for medical cannabis proponents in 2016, the state later banned smoking products from being sold. This means patients can only get the drug through oils, sprays, tinctures, food or vaping. The ban exists because of an interpretation of certain language in the constitutional amendment. The amendment states that local and state governments may restrict the smoking of medical marijuana in public places. However, the law nor the intent document allow for prohibiting private smoking of the drug. 

Fighting the ban

Some people claim that smoking marijuana is the best thing they can do for their health. Jordan, who suffers from ALS, says that smoking the drug has a variety of benefits for her:

  • Increasing her appetite
  • Drying her excessive saliva
  • Relaxing her muscles

Additionally, Jordan says that vaping makes her gag and edible forms cause her to experience stomach pain. She claims smoking marijuana is prolonging her life and making her existence more comfortable. 

Preparing for a longer battle

Judge Gievers is likely to make a decision about the case soon, but the fight may not end when that happens. Medical marijuana advocates may need to keep battling at the state level so that medical marijuana patients do not face legal punishments for smoking the drug that is helping them recover. 

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  1. Alex Hanna was named Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer (2016) by The National Trial Lawyers.

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  5. Alex Hanna is a member of The Florida Bar and Practices in the areas of Criminal, Traffic and Personal Injury Law since 2001.

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  9. Alex Hanna was bestowed the 10 best law firm award by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys in 2016 and 2017.

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