Florida: Attorney Sues State Regarding Anti-Cannabis Smoking Legislation
House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, the legislator who sponsored the troublesome legislation and insisted on the smoking ban, defends lawmakers’ actions
By Michael Bachara
Last Thursday, Orlando attorney John Morgan sued the state of Florida stating the new SB 8A law banning smoking medical cannabis is in violation of Amendment 2, the voter-initiated constitutional amendment that passed last November with 71 percent of the vote.
“Today is a day that should not have been necessary, other than the Florida Legislature decided not to do their job,” Morgan said.
The law in question, which was signed by Gov. Rick Scott, took effect Saturday establishing anti-smoking rules surrounding medical cannabis.
House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, the sponsor of the legislation, said, “If you look at those other states, their constitutional amendments declared that it could be smoked and that it could be self-grown. If that’s what John Morgan wanted for Florida, he should have declared it in the amendment.”
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if smoking is not allowed in public, it must certainly be allowed in private,” Morgan said. “That’s the intent. That’s what we said before we started.”
“For Ray Rodrigues to say he’s concerned about a cancer patient smoking a few hits of marijuana so that they can kill the nausea is ridiculous,” Morgan said. “Do we give a rat’s ass if a person dying from ALS smokes instead of vapes? I don’t, and I trust the doctors to figure out what’s best for that patient, not Ray Rodrigues.”
The Florida Department of Health, the state agency overseeing the new rules, said they have not received the lawsuit filed in Leon Circuit Court, seeking a declaration from the court that smoking medical marijuana is legal.
“If they [expletive] me off too much, I’ll address the smoking issue by having a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana,” Morgan said. “If I lose in court, I’ll go through all the marijuana people I know — it won’t take a lot of money — and we will move to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Then they’ll really be sorry they pushed me.”
Morgan's suit cites a 2012 Journal of the American Medical Association study that shows “marijuana smoking was shown to not impair lung function, based on the doses inhaled by the majority of users, as compared to non-smokers and tobacco smokers. To the contrary, marijuana smoking was shown to increase lung capacity.”
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