New Lawsuit Filed, Challenging the State of Florida's Marijuana Smoking Ban

In 2016 the state of Florida created a constitutional amendment that allowed medical marijuana. It seemed like a reasonable move by the state that would allow many people to take part in treatments that can help their medical conditions. Then in June, the Florida government decided to go back towards being unreasonable by passing a law that outlawed smoking medical marijuana. But now they'll have to defend that decision in court.

John Morgan, an Orlando attorney who helped push medical marijuana legalization, sued the state of Florida in July over their smoking ban. He claimed the new law violated the constitutional amendment allowing medicinal cannabis and therefore should be overturned. The smoking ban still allows Floridians to use medical marijuana, but they must find other ways to do so. Vaping is still allowed under the new law. 

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi recently filed for a judge to throw out Morgan's lawsuit, saying the original medical marijuana law did not specifically state that smoking was allowed, therefore the new ban is perfectly legal. Bondi also said in the motion that smoking marijuana is a health hazard, and therefore would not be medically beneficial to Floridian patients.

“The Legislature considered several significant health-related factors and reasonably determined that the harms caused by smoking were ample reason to exclude smoking from the definition of `medical use,'" the motion said. “Had the framers or the voters intended to legalize smoking by adopting the amendment, they could have done so. There was ample opportunity for smoking to be specifically provided for or required in the amendment. But however hard plaintiffs may look for it, a smoking requirement is not in the amendment.”

Of course, there's actually no legitimate research that says smoking marijuana is bad for people's lungs, unlike smoking cigarettes. A 2006 study by UCLA found that smoking marijuana had no long-term negative health effects on a person's lungs. It's just another myth about marijuana that anti-legalization advocates love to throw out without any facts.

A judge has not yet scheduled a hearing for Bondi's motion, but expect this entire case to take a long time to resolve.

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Before Nikki Furrer was a cannabis writer and professional, she had another dream job: owning an independent bookstore. While she says her business venture as a bookseller was ultimately untenable, it did open her eyes to how much she enjoys “matching the reader to the exact book they’re craving.” This zest for matchmaking is evident in her book 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis.' As the title suggests, 'A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis' is for women who are curious about cannabis. A more appropriate title, however, might have been a 'A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis.' Though Furrer touches on applications for the plant that are specific to women—relief of menstrual pain or beauty (though her belief that cannabis is a beauty product because it makes you appear more well-rested seems relevant to both men and women—much of the information in the book is relevant to anyone who is totally inexperienced with cannabis, apprehensive about trying it and needs a run down of the basics.

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