Last week, Florida Governor Rick Scott finally signed a bill that puts regulations in place for Amendment 2, the measure voters in the state approved last November; a measure that greatly expanded the state’s small medical marijuana program.
The path to those regulations was a long and contentious one. And the battle is far from over.
“This is a good day for sick and suffering Floridians. The signing of this law provides a framework for the future of our state’s medical marijuana system and while it is far from perfect, it will begin providing access to patients,” said Ben Pollara, the executive director of Florida for Care, the group that spearheaded the campaign for Amendment 2.
The “far from perfect” part is likely a reference to the fact that the final bill banned the smoking of cannabis products by patients. And John Morgan, the Orlando attorney who bankrolled much of Amendment 2’s campaign, is ready to fight.
“I don’t know what their problem is with smoke but that’s clearly the intent of the amendment,” Morgan said. “I will get to sue them to allow medical marijuana to be smoked.”
Morgan’s argument is that Amendment 2 specifically outlawed public smoking, which would imply that private smoking is to be allowed; after all, if private smoking was going to be barred as well, the measure would have just banned all smoking outright. “The reason I will win is because the amendment says clearly that medical marijuana may not be smoked in public, but if it may not be smoked in public it may be smoked in private,” he said.
“I think it’s silly that the legislature insists on banning the single most common method of consumption of marijuana,” Ben Pollara said.
This is supposedly a stipulation meant to protect the health of medical marijuana patients in Florida, but it’s hard to see how you can protect the health of patients while simultaneously restricting their access to the medicine they choose. It’s like the fire department telling people trapped in a burning building that they are only going to use a little water so those who are trapped don’t drown. Those who are trapped would much rather have more water so they don’t burn in agony and they’ll risk the drowning that there is no chance of anyway.
John Morgan has been fighting for medical cannabis patients in Florida for years and there is no reason to believe he’ll slow down now. When he says he’ll sue and he’ll win, he’s got the resources and experience to back it up.