Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
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Florida legalizes smoking medical marijuana

Florida legalizes smoking medical marijuana

Ron DeSantis signed legislation repealing the state's former ban on smoking medical marijuana.

"Over 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in 2016", DeSantis tweeted Monday, referring to a constitutional amendment that passed at the time. Patients under 18 will also be able to smoke if they get a second opinion from a pediatrician and have a terminal disease.

The bill passed on a 101-11 vote last Wednesday and is the first bill to go to the governor's desk during the 60-day legislative session that began earlier this month.

Smoking medical marijuana is now legal in Florida.

'I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for working with me to ensure the will of our voters is upheld, ' DeSantis said in a statement on Monday. Really sick and injured people now have a path to safe wellness.

The state previously had a ban on smoking medical marijuana that was enacted in 2017 and signed by then-Gov.

Private property owners have the right to prohibit it and patients can't possess more than four ounces of smokable marijuana.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat, praised the law's "landmark victory" for medical marijuana patients and for democracy as a whole, according to The Associated Press.

The lifting of the ban took effect immediately, but patients will have to wait for Florida's Health Department to approve new guides for doctors, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat who in the past lobbied for the medical marijuana industry and who made medical cannabis the cornerstone of her election campaign a year ago, hailed the repeal of the smoking ban, calling it a "landmark victory for patients across Florida and for our democracy".

'Our state must not disregard the voice of its people - when the people's will is nullified by those with authority, liberty can not survive'.

Legalizing recreational marijuana in Florida will likely be on the ballot in upcoming elections, says Brandes, one of the legislators behind the medical marijuana law.

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