TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The fight to smoke medical marijuana made its way to a Tallahassee courtroom today. Attorney John Morgan, who helped bankroll the medical marijuana constitutional amendment push, is suing the state.
- Morgan: "No smoke is a joke."
- Lawmakers insist banning smoke protects public health
- Judge could take days, weeks to issue ruling
Leon County circuit court Judge Karen Gievers heard testimony Wednesday challenging the state's ban on smoking cannabis.
Shortly after voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana, lawmakers passed a law banning smoking it. Medical cannabis is only available in oil, edible, tincture and vape form.
Morgan's response to the law? "No smoke is a joke."
Cathy Jordan was one of two medical marijuana patients who testified before the judge. Jordan, who has had ALS since 1986, told the court that smoking the plant is the only effective way for her to use it as medicine.
“I’ve tried other ways. Vaping makes me gag,” Jordan testified.
The Manatee County woman has battled ALS for 32 years. She says smoking marijuana is the only way to dry up excessive saliva that she otherwise chokes on.
“It also helps my muscles relax, gives me an appetite and helps with depression,” Jordan told the judge.
Morgan watched in court today as Jordan was testifying.
“If I was Pam Bondi or I was Rick Scott, I would take a look at this woman today and I would say 'enough is enough,'” said Morgan. “Let’s stop the politics and let these people live.”
But lawyers for the state argued that lawmakers have every right to ban smoking.
“These provisions [in the constitutional amendment] highlight that the state has a role in setting parameters governing medical use,” argued Rachel Nordby with the Florida Attorney General’s Office.
The state also argued that inhaling smoke is unhealthy, so by banning smoke, lawmakers are protecting public health.
It could takes several days or weeks for Gievers to issue a ruling.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.