John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who spearheaded and financed the successful campaign to make medical access to cannabis a constitutional right, filed the lawsuit in Leon County Circuit Court Thursday morning, asking the court to declare the law implementing the 2016 constitutional amendment unenforceable.”Inhalation is a medically effective and efficient way to deliver Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids, to the bloodstream,” wrote Morgan and his lead lawyer, Jon Mills, a constitutional lawyer and former Democratic House speaker, on behalf of Florida for Care Inc., the non profit formed to promote the initiative.”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,” the lawsuit states.Previous coverage: John Morgan ‘prepared to invest $100M’ in medical marijuana.More than 71 percent of Florida voters approved the amendment in November 2016, the largest percentage of support a medical marijuana initiative has received by popular vote, Morgan said.The amendment allowed the Legislature to address smoking but only by prohibiting it in public places, he said, adding that anything more violates the intent of the Constitution.”If something is not allowed in public, it is allowed in private,” Morgan said at a press conference outside the Leon County Courthouse. He said that during the campaign he frequently debated with sheriffs who warned that the amendment would lead to marijuana smoking in public places.”Time and time again I would refer them back to this intent language,” he said.”The statement unambiguously says that smoking medical marijuana in a private place in compliance with the provisions of the amendment is legal,” the suit states.However, the Florida Legislature passed, and Gov. Rick Scott signed, a provision that defines “medical use” to exclude “possession, use or administration of marijuana in a form for smoking.” Morgan’s lawsuit claims that provision “redefined and narrowed the definition of marijuana in direct conflict” with the Constitution.If the court agrees and invalidates the law implementing the amendment, the task of writing the rules for implementing the new amendment will fall to the Florida Department of Health.The legislation allows for edibles and “vaping” as a delivery system for THC and cannabinoids.
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