July 7 (UPI) — Florida trial attorney John Morgan filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida after lawmakers banned the use of smoked marijuana in the state’s medical marijuana law.
More than 70 percent of Floridians voted in favor of a medical marijuana amendment in November 2016. The success of the amendment was due in part to Morgan, who funded the campaign to get the amendment on the ballot that year.
But the Republican-led Florida legislature wrote a medical marijuana law in March with restrictions that some activists like Morgan disagree with, including the prohibition of smoked marijuana.
In his lawsuit and in public comments, Morgan has accused Florida lawmakers of pretending to be doctors, despite no medical training.
“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.
Elsewhere in the lawsuit, Morgan points out the benefits of smoked marijuana as noted by physicians.
“Scientists have already discovered over 100 separate cannabinoids through medical marijuana research, which have the potential to induce positive biologic changes in the body’s cannabinoid receptor system,” the suit states. “Inhalation is a medically effective and efficient way to deliver Tetrahydrocannabinol, and other cannabinoids, to the bloodstream.”
The amendment that passed in November allowed lawmakers to restrict the physical act of smoking marijuana, which they then did in January by prohibiting it altogether. But Morgan argues that the intent of that allowance in the original amendment language was to let lawmakers create rules around the act of smoking, such as whether one can smoke in a public place, not to ban it altogether.
“The statement unambiguously says that smoking medical marijuana in a private place in compliance with the provisions of the amendment is legal,” the suit states.
Republican State Rep. Ray Rodrigues, a sponsor of the smoking ban, said the smoking of medical marijuana would be a “backdoor attempt at recreational” use of marijuana.
He also said that the amendment allowed lawmakers to insert a smoking ban and if Morgan didn’t want that to happen, he should have worded the amendment more carefully.
Morgan, who is rumored to be a potential gubernatorial candidate for 2018, sniped back.
“I don’t know what [Rodrigues] does for a living, but I would never hire someone that dumb, that that’s their deductive reasoning,” Morgan said.