By William Stash Jones
Oregon Cannabis Connection
In a bold move by the man that primarily funded the Florida medical marijuana initiative that voters approved last year, a lawsuit was filed to stop the legislature’s smoking ban on medical marijuana. He argues the constitutional amendment that passed does allow smoking and he is seeking clarification from the state’s courts.
“Today is a day that should not have been necessary, other than the Florida Legislature decided not to do their job,” Orlando attorney John Morgan said in a press conference outside the Leon County Circuit Court. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if smoking is not allowed in public, it must certainly be allowed in private. That’s the intent. That’s what we said before we started.”
The legislature made a number of changes to Amendment 2, but none were as far reaching than to ban smoked cannabis. In fact, they had to finish their efforts in a special session of the legislature after failing to finish during the regular session. However, during the rule making, they decided that smoked marijuana will not be allowed.
“If Morgan and his team had been honest with the public and had put clear language in there that they wanted this smoked like recreational marijuana, the voters would have had second thoughts about the issue and they would realize they’re being tricked,” Calvina Fay, executive director of the prohibitionist group Drug Free America, told the Sun Sentinel. “All during the campaign, they consistently said that marijuana is a good medicine and sick people should be allowed to have it. The Legislature took them at their word and treated it like a medicine.”
But a huge margin of victory was achieved on November 8th, 2016. Constitutional amendments in Florida require a 60% yes vote to pass, and Amendment 2 surpassed that by over 10 points. Just two years earlier Florida voted 58% in favor of an amendment, falling just 2% shy of the super majority needed.
“71% of Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana in Florida … by all calculations I have ever been able to determine, it’s the largest vote ever in the history of America for a marijuana initiative,” explained Morgan. “The people of Florida knew exactly what they were voting on when they voted, and when they were voting on it the vast majority of them knew, if not 100 percent, knew that smoke was included.”
There is another option, according to Morgan. He strongly believes a full legalization initiative would pass in Florida, to the objections of many conservative legislators. He says that could be an option if he doesn’t get his way.
“If they piss me off too much, I’ll address the smoking issue by having a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana,” he said. “If I lose in court, I’ll go through all the marijuana people I know, it won’t take a lot of money, and we will move to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Then they’ll really be sorry they pushed me.”
© 2017 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.