Judge weighs ban on patients smoking medical marijuana

Judge weighs ban on patients smoking medical marijuana

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John Morgan, who helped get Florida’s medical marijuana amendment on the ballot and passed in 2016, takes questions before a trial on whether the ban on smoking cannabis is allowed under the state constitution on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in Tallahassee. (Joe Reedy/AP) Cathy Jordan credits pot with helping her defeat the odds in the battle against Lou Gehrig’s disease she’s waged for more than 30 years. And although she can now legally obtain the cannabis treatment she’s relied on for decades, Jordan is prohibited from what she and her doctors swear is the best way for her to consume her medicine — smoking joints. Jordan is among the plaintiffs challenging a state law that bans smoking pot as a route of administration for the hundreds of thousands of patients who are eligible for medical marijuana treatment in Florida. With her husband, Bob, serving as her interpreter during a trial Wednesday, Jordan told Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers and a packed courtroom that she started smoking pot a few years after she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, in 1986. “My doctors are really not concerned with the risk because I’m still alive. In ‘86, I was given three to five years to live. And I’m still here,” Jordan, draped in a pink shawl, testified. Wednesday’s hearing came more than 18 months after voters overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment that broadly legalized marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions like Jordan. Lawmakers last year enacted the prohibition on joints largely to protect the public from the ill effects of smoking, lawyers for the state argued. Senior Assistant Attorney General Karen Brodeen said “smoking should never be a route of administration for any medicinal product.” The prohibition on smoking was included in a state law aimed at […]

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