Florida ban on smokable medical pot ruled unconstitutional - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Florida ban on smokable medical pot ruled unconstitutional

Posted: Updated:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida’s ban that prevents medical marijuana patients from smoking their cannabis has gone up in smoke.

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers on Friday ruled that a state’s ban on smokable cannabis is unconstitutional. Florida’s Department of Health said in a statement it has appealed the ruling, which will impose an automatic stay.

Gievers wrote in her 22-page ruling that Floridians “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians, including the use of smokable marijuana in private places.”

Ben Pollara, who runs the nonprofit medical marijuana advocacy group Florida for Care, said the ruling is a big victory for patients and voters.

Taylor Patrick Biehl of the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida added that “despite legislative pushback over interpretation and ideologies, justice has been served.”

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 allowing the use of medical marijuana. The only mention of smoking in the amendment’s language and in an intent document during the 2016 campaign was that the Legislature and local governments could restrict it in public places.

The Legislature last year passed enacting laws that banned the sale of smoking products, citing a health risk. The laws, signed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in June, say patients can use cannabis through vaping and in food, oils, sprays and tinctures.

John Morgan, who led the push to legalize medical marijuana Florida, filed a lawsuit challenging the ban two weeks after Scott signed the bill. He was joined in the suit by two patients with terminal illnesses who benefit from smokable medical pot.

Cathy Jordan, who has had ALS since 1986, says smoking the plant dries her excess saliva, increases her appetite and works as a muscle relaxer.

Diana Dodson, who has had HIV since 1991, testified May 16 that vaping is 50 percent less effective than smoking and that smoking allows her to get the proper dosage.

Jordan said that when she was diagnosed with ALS — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — doctors thought she would live only three to five more years. She credits smoking with helping to prolong her life, and has been supported by her physicians.

“So many people won’t smoke due to the stigma and it being against the law. This is legitimate medicine,” she said by phone from her Manatee County home after the ruling. “This ruling is not just for me but for many other people.”

Bob Jordan, Cathy’s husband, said he was still in shock after getting the call about the ruling.

“A little woman with ALS took on the state and won. That’s an amazing thing. It is kind of surreal,” he said.

He tweeted after the ruling that “truth prevails.”

Florida Department of Health spokesman Devin Galetta said in a statement that the ruling “goes against what the legislature outlined when they wrote and approved the law to implement the constitutional amendment that was approved.”

The next stop will be the state’s 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. It will be the second medical marijuana case that court will be taking up after Gievers ruled last month that a Tampa man — Joseph Redner — is entitled under state law to possess, grow and use marijuana for juicing. Redner was prescribed juicing treatments from his doctor to prevent a relapse of stage 4 lung cancer.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two injured in Montana after swerving to avoid a kangaroo -- Really

    Two injured in Montana after swerving to avoid a kangaroo -- Really

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:46 PM EDT2018-06-21 16:46:44 GMT
    File photo of a kangarooFile photo of a kangaroo

    DODSON, Mont. - Two people were injured in Montana Wednesday morning after swerving to avoid a kangaroo on the road.  Trooper Matt Finley with the Montana Highway Patrol said he thought it was a joke when he responded to the call, but when he arrived at about 4 a.m. he saw the kangaroo.  Trooper Finley said he learned there is a kangaroo farm west of Dodson. 

    >>

    DODSON, Mont. - Two people were injured in Montana Wednesday morning after swerving to avoid a kangaroo on the road.  Trooper Matt Finley with the Montana Highway Patrol said he thought it was a joke when he responded to the call, but when he arrived at about 4 a.m. he saw the kangaroo.  Trooper Finley said he learned there is a kangaroo farm west of Dodson. 

    >>
  • Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco

    Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:56 AM EDT2018-06-21 04:56:03 GMT
    Puyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from CostcoPuyallup woman pleads guilty to defrauding $290K from Costco
    Federal officials say further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.Federal officials say further testing was unable to confirm the presence of E. coli in the onions and celery used to make chicken salad at Costco warehouses across the country.

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud.  Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...

    >>

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud.  Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...

    >>
  • Spokane business owner fed up with feces, unwanted surprise at work

    Spokane business owner fed up with feces, unwanted surprise at work

    Thursday, June 21 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-06-21 06:32:06 GMT

    A Spokane business owner says enough is enough after finding human feces in front of her doorstep three days in a row. The incidences happened at Neat Old Stuff located at 3rd and Bernard. The shop's owner, CP Phare, has been in the same location for the last decade and says suspicious activity has ramped up in the last year, but nothing like what's been happening over the last few days. "There's like surprise packages usually two-to-three times a week," 

    >>

    A Spokane business owner says enough is enough after finding human feces in front of her doorstep three days in a row. The incidences happened at Neat Old Stuff located at 3rd and Bernard. The shop's owner, CP Phare, has been in the same location for the last decade and says suspicious activity has ramped up in the last year, but nothing like what's been happening over the last few days. "There's like surprise packages usually two-to-three times a week," 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Terminally ill Rathdrum baby gets gift of comfort from local business

    Terminally ill Rathdrum baby gets gift of comfort from local business

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:54 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:54:33 GMT

    RATHDRUM, Idaho - A family said their main priority right now is keeping their sick baby comfortable. They were recently told by doctor's their 19month-old daughter isn't expected to live much longer. They said one of the only things that eases her pain is a specialty chair that insurance won't cover. That's when friends said, "Help Me Hayley."

    >>

    RATHDRUM, Idaho - A family said their main priority right now is keeping their sick baby comfortable. They were recently told by doctor's their 19month-old daughter isn't expected to live much longer. They said one of the only things that eases her pain is a specialty chair that insurance won't cover. That's when friends said, "Help Me Hayley."

    >>
  • Hard Rock casino installs big guitar with misspelled word

    Hard Rock casino installs big guitar with misspelled word

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:45 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:45:21 GMT

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The soon-to-open Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City had to work quickly to fix a misspelling on a 30-foot-tall (9-meter-tall) guitar installed this week.    The sign, modeled after a Gibson Les Paul guitar, was put up Thursday morning without officials noticing the word "rhythm" was misspelled on the rhythm and treble switch. It included the letter "E."

    >>

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The soon-to-open Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City had to work quickly to fix a misspelling on a 30-foot-tall (9-meter-tall) guitar installed this week.    The sign, modeled after a Gibson Les Paul guitar, was put up Thursday morning without officials noticing the word "rhythm" was misspelled on the rhythm and treble switch. It included the letter "E."

    >>
  • Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Program Helps Find Elderly With Dementia Or Alzheimer's

    Kootenai County Sheriff's Office Program Helps Find Elderly With Dementia Or Alzheimer's

    Thursday, June 21 2018 9:23 PM EDT2018-06-22 01:23:49 GMT

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - It doesn’t matter the time of year or the conditions outside, rescuers risk their lives to find missing people. Some are found; others don’t make it. “We're having a lot of calls for service in reference to these folks wandering away from their homes,” Will Klinkefus, a sergeant with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said. Two years ago, the sheriff’s office became the first law enforcement agency in Idaho to 

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - It doesn’t matter the time of year or the conditions outside, rescuers risk their lives to find missing people. Some are found; others don’t make it. “We're having a lot of calls for service in reference to these folks wandering away from their homes,” Will Klinkefus, a sergeant with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said. Two years ago, the sheriff’s office became the first law enforcement agency in Idaho to 

    >>