No Smoke is a Joke gets hearing in front of circuit court

By  | 

By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
May 16, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Florida law allows medical marijuana to be consumed via oils, sprays, tinctures and vaping. Edibles are also allowed, but no rules have been developed for their use.

Wednesday, advocates had their day in court challenging a ban on smokable medical marijuana.

Cathy and Robert Jordan have been using marijuana to keep Cathy's ALS at bay for almost 30 years. Cathy says doctors have never told her not to smoke marijuana.

“Never. They're actually more interested in how healthy I am after having ALS for so long,” said Jordan.

“And even Cathy, we didn’t know she’d make it this far along. But we got our day in court. We’re very optimistic we’re going to win this thing because its medicine,” said Cathy’s husband, Robert.

In the end, just three witnesses were called, none by the state.

The question before the court was whether lawmakers overstepped their authority when they banned smokable marijuana for patients.

"Cathy Jordan believes she is alive because she uses smokable marijuana,” said Amendment 2 author Jon Mills.

The state argued its job is to protect people, including patients, from the dangers of smoking.

“And those harmful effects can occur, not the first time you do it, but certainly over a period of time,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Karen Brodeen.

Medical marijuana originator John Morgan filed the lawsuit.

”And if I was Rick Scott, I’d take a look of this video of this woman today, and I’d say enough is enough. Let’s stop the politics. Lets let these people live,” said Morgan.

The judge asked attorneys on both sides if they lose to file speedy appeals, noting lives are on the line.

The constitutional amendment approved by voters mentions smoking just once, saying medicinal pot can’t be smoked in public. Lawyers say that means voters were aware smoking medical marijuana was a likely outcome of their approval.

To watch today's courtroom arguments, see the video below.

By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
May 15, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A Bradenton woman who says her suffering from ALS disease is decreased because of smokable medical marijuana will get her day in court Wednesday.

She and other plaintiffs are challenging the state's ban on smokable medicine.

As lawmakers debated the rules for medical marijuana, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri was adamant. “We don’t think there should be smokable marijuana,” Gualtieri told lawmakers in January 2017.

Fast forward five months and John Morgan, the man who bankrolled the amendment, filed his “No Smoke is a Joke" lawsuit.

He argues people knew what they wanted.

“The vast majority, if not 100 percent, knew that smoke was included,” Morgan told reporters.

The constitutional amendment mentions smoking just once, saying smoking can’t be in public.

In a January hearing, advocates argued that means it can be smoked in private.

“There’s no question that the definition of marijuana in this constitutional provision includes smokable marijuana,” said Jon Mills, the Amendment 2 author.

The state says otherwise.

Rebecca Nordby, the attorney for the Department of Health said, “There is no express requirement that smoking medical marijuana has to be allowed.”

Plaintiff Cathy Jordan and her husband Robert say that smoking marijuana has kept her ALS at bay for more than twenty years.

“Noticeable difference,” Robert told us when it came to vaping or edibles.

Jeff Sharkey of the Medical Marijuana Business Association says it will likely come down to what doctors recommend.

“If the amendment didn’t say it was prohibited, then implicitly, it’s allowed,” said Sharkey.

The same judge in this case recently ruled that a Tampa man could grow his own marijuana based on a doctor’s recommendation. The state opposed that, just as it opposes this.

No matter how the judge rules, the loser is likely to appeal.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus