Florida legalized medical marijuana in 2016, but up until now, the state has prevented patients from smoking their medication. That's because the ballot initiative that approved medical marijuana did not allow patients to use joints, blunts or any other means of smoking it. But last year, a Florida court ruled that smoking ban was unconstitutional. Shortly thereafter, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) began pressuring lawmakers to repeal the ban.
Governor DeSantis' efforts paid off last Wednesday as the Florida legislature passed a bill that will allow medical marijuana patients to smoke their cannabis if that's how they prefer to consume it.
"Today's action to finally allow smokable medical marijuana brings four words to the lips of people across our state: It’s about damn time," said Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) in a press release celebrating the passing of the new bill. "It's long past due that the State of Florida honored the will of the people and allowed doctors to determine their patient’s course of treatment."
With the passing of the new bill, medical marijuana patients 18 years of age or older can now choose to smoke their medical marijuana in private residences. Smoking in public and inside of businesses will continue to be prohibited. Landlords can choose to ban smoking if they so desire and patients can only possess up to four ounces of smokable cannabis at a time.
Patients under 18 will only be permitted to smoke medical marijuana if they have a terminal illness and if two physicians—one of which must be a pediatrician—say it would be the most effective form of treatment.
This change to the Sunshine State's medical marijuana program has been a long time coming and is certainly a welcome change.