The path to marijuana legislation is paved with good intentions. That was attorney John Morgan’s belief, who was a catalyst in Florida voting yes on medical marijuana with a 71 percent approval. But now Morgan is suing the state of Florida over its legislation and medical marijuana smoking ban.
Morgan’s lawsuit is regarding state legislation that prohibits the smoking of marijuana. Currently medical patients can vape, or consume pills, oils, or edibles. Morgan, who is chairman of People United for Medical Marijuana, alleges this caveat violates the Florida Constitution and the intention of Florida voters who approved the amendment.
“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,” the lawsuit states.
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One of the lawsuit’s main contention is the distinction between the banning of smoking medical marijuana in public vs. private. The language of the ballot amendment Florida voters approved stated that smoking medical marijuana in public could be banned. It did not, however, mention anything about smoking in private.
“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 in a press conference. “That’s the intent. That’s what we said before we started.”
The House sponsor of the law, Rep. Ray Rodrigues, claims that smoking is a “backdoor attempt at recreational” use of marijuana. He defended the lawmakers’ actions and pointed toward other states that permit smoking marijuana made it clear in proposals to voters.
“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,” Rodrigues told the Orlando Sentinel.
Morgan had a fiery response to such a notion. Instead, he stated that lawmakers trying to limit the will of the voters will potentially cause a backlash.
“If they [expletive] me off too much, I’ll address the smoking issue by having a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana,” he 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.”