Florida Legislature Passes Bill To Repeal Smokable Medical Marijuana Ban

Henrietta Strickland
March 16, 2019

"We did the best that we could do and still remain responsible".

- Florida voters really seem to like the job Governor Ron DeSantis is doing: he just scored the highest approval rating for a governor in the Sunshine State in a decade.

The bill is the first to go to the governor in the 60-day legislative session that began last week and the only bill the House has considered at this point. A total of 67 percent of Florida voters are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied" with the way things are going in the state since DeSantis took over for former Governor Rick Scott. Smoking of medical cannabis, which would have to be purchased from state-authorized operators would be banned in public places. Scott, now a Republican U.S. senator, appealed the ruling.

"Ron DeSantis won the governorship by the slimmest of margins, yet in his first two-plus months in office he has gotten off to a strong start", said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement.

Lawmakers quickly followed up on his ultimatum. It would not be available to anyone under the age of 18 unless the patient is terminally ill and if two doctors, one of them a pediatrician, say it is the most effective form of treatment.

Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican who has made a fortune in the cigar business, had balked at doing away with the marijuana-smoking ban.

The bill allows patients up to 2.5 ounces of whole flower cannabis every 35 days if their doctor recommends it. Doctors must be certified to prescribe marijuana. The Senate passed the bill last week. But, at least we are moving in the right direction.

DeSantis' office didn't immediately respond to a phone call and email seeking comment on the bill's passage.

But Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat who once lobbied for the medical marijuana industry and who made medical cannabis the cornerstone of her election campaign a year ago, called the repeal "long past due".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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