Published: Sun, January 20, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

DeSantis Announces End To Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban

DeSantis Announces End To Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban

Florida's new Governor tackled the controversial issue of medical marijuana on Thursday.

Gov. DeSantis was joined at the news conference by Orlando attorney and medical marijuana supporter John Morgan, who filed a lawsuit against the state's ban on smokable medical marijuana. Efforts were led by Morgan to get the medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot.

"They created a cartel essentially", said DeSantis.

Morgan is also the person who sued the state over the smoking ban, publicizing it with the slogan, "No smoke is a joke".

"There are 400.500,000 people, sick people today that are counting on this", said Morgan in July of 2017. The state Legislature then appealed that decision.

If it doesn't do so by mid-March, he said he will drop an appeal filed under his predecessor, now U.S. Sen.

"I don't want Jewish parents to not want to send their kids to a Jewish school because they fear that makes them more likely to be targeted for harm", the governor said.

"I think that's good incentive for the Legislature to get this right", DeSantis said.

We reached out to representatives from medical marijuana provider Trulieve, but were told the company wasn't ready to comment on DeSantis' proposed changes.

Matthew C. Levin, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, said, "We were delighted to open the Federation campus to our new Gov. DeSantis and Lt. Gov. Nunez". "The last thing I want to be doing is cleaning up for something that should've happened two years ago".

Danielle Hartman, chief executive officer of Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services who was also in attendance, said, "Our Jewish community's relationships with our governor and legislature are absolutely integral to meeting the vital needs of our Holocaust survivors, seniors in need of transportation, adults with disabilities and other vulnerable residents of South Palm Beach County".

Florida is weeding out a law preventing medical marijuana patients from legally smoking the plant, the state's newly-sworn Republican governor announced Thursday.

If they don't, he said he will drop the appeal himself.

DeSantis also said he wants the amended law to address licensing limits that are also subjects of lawsuits.

DeSantis says he is calling for a repeal of Scott-era litigation over Florida's medical marijuana smoking ban.

Florida's medical marijuana law caps the number of marijuana business licenses and requires vertical integration, which means that every medical marijuana company must manufacture and sell its own products. Court decisions in other lawsuits also ruled those limitations were in conflict with the amendment.

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