Florida has happily joined the family of states that recognize medical marijuana use as legal. It is a huge step forward, but medical patients are finding it hard to celebrate when they are still faced with harsh restrictions and blowback from their state. Essentially, Florida voted in the right for patients who have been prescribed cannabis to consume it. In July 2017, the state legislators decided that they would interpret that message to ban smoking the raw cannabis product because smoke is harmful to the public. So, whole herb is completely banned because smoking it is illegal for the sake of the public’s health.
What’s Being Done?
The spearhead on this issue is Florida lawyer John Morgan, a big name and advocate for legalizing marijuana (using hashtag #NoSmokeIsAJoke) and protecting medicinal patients. Morgan immediately sued the state for their initial ban and the state challenged to dismiss his case in January 2018. The battle still ensues as the state’s dismissal was denied by Judge Gievers and the case has yet to see justice for all medical marijuana users.
How Does That Happen?
Bureaucracy. Abuse of power. Special interests (like with big pharma companies). This behavior from hubris politicians is oppressive and discriminatory. Lawmakers are trying to censor what the people voted into law for their own interests. This is costing the taxpayers, those who voted in the law, big money to go to court in order to fight for the right they won fairly through the democratic system and should already have readily available to them. The roadblocks put in place to try and shut down the legality of medicinal marijuana and the soon to be nation-wide recreational use is absurd for these four reasons.
The Absurdity of The Whole Budding Thing
1. The State Does Not Have a Medical Degree
First of all, when did state legislators also have a medical degree? And when in the history of the United States did a politician ever have the right to tell a doctor how to do his job? If a doctor recommends the inhalation of smoke or the raw natural product for unfiltered and immediate administration, that is his right to do so. Restricting a medicinal method of taking a prescription is the first but not the only absurdity following this law.
2. The Interpretation of The Law
Gov. Rick Scott decided to interpret the broad set law to essentially ban cannabis. For a medicine, it is anyone’s guess why the raw, medicinal plant (a natural growing herb, mind you) should be banned but products that have harmful additives, chemicals and fillers would be more acceptable. Mike from Florida CBD Connection says that “Having access to the cannabis flower is important in a medical program. There is a place for oils and topicals, but the processes that create these destroy many of the Terpenes and Cannabinoids that exist in the raw flower and have been shown to have many medical uses.” So essentially, Florida is banning the actual, most medicinal product – sounds like corruption to me.
3. The Argument is up in Smoke
Ok, Ok, the ban is for public safety, right? To protect all of those tobacco smokers and second-hand smokers who have access to chemically harmful drugs, like opiates and amphetamines, like the access to junk food and candy. If smoking cigarettes is not illegal, I don’t see how banning the act of smoking cannabis can be legitimized. And, at the end of the day, most cannabis smokers want to do it in their own home anyway. So how does that harm the public? Maybe xx is worried that all of Florida will lock themselves away if he allows smoking but just not in public places.
4. Whole Flower Does Not Have to be Smoked
Maybe Florida’s legislation is just plain clueless which is why they would come up with the very shallow connection that if smoking is not allowed, so then must cannabis flower be banned. But even if lawmakers were able to ban the administration of a legal drug (like why wouldn’t they have banned keg stands or rectal consumption of alcohol?), whole flower should still be allowed for home-made edibles, tinctures, topicals and, of course, vaping.
No matter how absurd or repressive, the outlook seems favorable for Morgan and his fight for medical patients’ right to consume whole flower. Until then, Florida medical dispensaries are scarce with only thirteen of them, but you can find them scattered across the state offering relief.