Florida's new Governor tackled the controversial issue of medical marijuana on Thursday
20 January, 2019, 18:43
In 2017, the legislature passed a law meant to carry out the intention of the legalization amendment passed in 2016, however that law also banned smokable medicinal marijuana.
Though times are changing, as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced this afternoon plans to drop his predecessors appeal, which will finally allow for medical marijuana flower sales by licensed dispensaries in Florida. "Whether they (patients) have to smoke it or not, who am I to judge that? I want people to be able to have their suffering relieved", said DeSantis.
The governor set a deadline of mid-March for lawmakers to introduce a bill that would ease the ban on smoking medical marijuana, saying he will ask the court for a "stay of decision" on the state's appeal until then.
The Republican governor, who took office on January 8, said the state has lagged in carrying out the constitutional amendment that passed with the support of more than 71 percent of voters in 2016.
"What the Florida Legislature has done to implement the people's will has not been done in accordance with what the amendment envisioned", DeSantis said.
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After legislation initially stopped working in 2014, Florida citizens authorized the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalisation Initiative on November 8, 2016. The state appealed that decision, leaving patients who smoke marijuana at risk of criminal penalties. He said many of his patients prefer smoking versus vaping.
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"We need to have the peoples' will represented in good law that is doing what they intended". In an op-ed story published by The Capitolist last month, Bax said that allowing smoking would result in "significant" changes to Florida's medical marijuana program. DeSantis replaced fellow Republican Scott, who is now a USA senator, earlier this month.
But an unrestricted medical-marijuana market could raise concerns in an industry in which licenses have sold for more than $50 million.
DeSantis also took aim at the licensing system that the Legislature created for medical marijuana businesses, which he described as creating a "cartel".
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Vertical integration "is not worthy of continued defense", said Gaetz, a close ally of DeSantis who is playing a major role in the governor's transition.
"A legislative solution has always been my preferred course of action, and we will certainly honor the Governor's request to bring a bill forward early in session that addresses both his concerns and those raised in litigation", wrote Senate President Bill Galvano.
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