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Florida: Lawsuit Filed Challenging Medical Cannabis Smoking Ban

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  • WATCH: Marijuana in the Halls of Congress! Yesterday, NORML moderated a Facebook Congressional Conversation on marijuana law reform with Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Tom Garrett, Beto O’Rourke, and Justin Amash. We discussed a wide range of issues including the needless burden of the federal driver’s license suspension mandate, access to medical marijuana, racial injustice, and pending bipartisan legislation to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. WATCH NOW: Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. Only when lawmakers speak honestly about the effects of prohibition and the senseless burdens it imposes on our communities will we be able to win substantial reform. In our continued effort to educate the lawmakers and the public, events like this will be able to open the eyes of those who have willfully ignored the issue. NORML chapters throughout the country are working to advance legalization in state legislatures and, with your support, National NORML will continue to up the pressure in Washington, DC. Click here to share the video through your networks and support efforts like this in the future. ...
  • WATCH: Marijuana in the Halls of Congress Yesterday, NORML moderated a Facebook Congressional Conversation on marijuana law reform with Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Tom Garrett, Beto O’Rourke, and Justin Amash. We discussed a wide range of issues including the needless burden of the federal driver’s license suspension mandate, access to medical marijuana, racial injustice, and pending bipartisan legislation to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. WATCH NOW: Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color. Only when lawmakers speak honestly about the effects of prohibition and the senseless burdens it imposes on our communities will we be able to win substantial reform. “At a time when 29 states and the District of Columbia have made the decision to regulate the sale and use of marijuana, we should rethink how the federal government approaches this drug. Our current approach to marijuana prevents legitimate medical use, fills our prisons with nonviolent offenders and continues to fuel drug violence,” said Representative Beto O’Rourke in a statement promoting the event. In our continued effort to educate the lawmakers and the public, events like this will be able to open the eyes of those who have willfully ignored the issue. NORML chapters throughout the country are working to advance legalization in state legislatures and, with your support, National NORML will continue to up the pressure in Washington, DC. Click here to share the video through your networks and support efforts like this in the future. ...

Florida: Lawsuit Filed Challenging Medical Cannabis Smoking Ban

July 06
23:36 2017

Florida: Lawsuit Filed Challenging Medical Cannabis Smoking Ban

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
    July 6, 2017
    Comments

    cannabis_pillsRepresentatives of Florida for Care filed litigation today challenging a statewide ban on medical cannabis smoking. The suit was expected after lawmakers approved legislation (SB 8A) in June amending Amendment 2 — a voter initiated constitutional amendment permitting the use and distribution of medical cannabis. Seventy-one percent of voters approved the amendment in November.

    Senate Bill 8A amends the definition of medical cannabis in a manner that prohibits “marijuana in a form for smoking” and that bars the personal possession of herbal cannabis flowers, except in instances where they are contained “in a sealed, tamper-proof receptacle for vaping.” The Florida for Care suit argues that these changes inconsistent with the constitutional definition of marijuana, as passed by voters, and therefore should not be implemented.

    The lawsuit argues, “Inhalation is a medically effective and efficient way to deliver tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids, to the bloodstream. … 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.”

    Under the revised law, patients diagnosed with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis — or who suffer from chronic pain related to any of these diseases — are eligible to receive a 70-day supply of cannabis-infused oils or edible products from a limited number of state-licensed dispensing facilities.

    NORML has long argued against regulations that limit or prohibit patients’ access to whole-plant cannabis in lieu of cannabis-derived extracts or pills. Cannabis inhalation is not associated with increased instances of lung cancer, COPD, or other tobacco-related adverse effects on pulmonary function. Inhaled cannabis is fast acting and permits patients to accurately self-regulate their dose. By contrast, non-herbal forms of cannabis possess delayed onset and their effects can often be far less predictable than those of herbal cannabis. Many patients seeking rapid relief of symptoms do not benefit from pills, tinctures, or edibles, and such restrictions unnecessarily limit patients’ choices.

    If the court invalidates SB 8A, the task of writing the rules for implementing the initiative — which must be operational by October — will fall to the Florida Department of Health.

    Tags : Amendment 2, Florida, inhalation, smoking
    Posted in : LITIGATION
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