After a closely watched one day trial last week, Judge Karen Gievers issued a 22 page Order and Final Judgment. Judge Gievers found that the legislation which implemented Amendment 2 (medical marijuana) is unconstitutional because it conflicts with the language of the constitutional amendment itself.
Section 381.986, Florida Statutes (2017) unconstitutionally restricts rights that are protected in the [Florida] Constitution, and so the statutory prohibition against the use of smokeable marijuana permitted by [a] qualifying patient is declared invalid and unenforceable.
Qualifying patients have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for [the] treatment of their debilitating medical condition as recommended by their certified physicians, including the use of smokable marijuana in private places.
The Judge largely adopted the arguments put forth by Plaintiffs’ counsel who had argued that the the medical marijuana definition approved by Florida voters in November 2016 included “all types of medical marijuana,” including smokeable forms. Plaintiffs’ counsel also argued that Amendment 2 implicitly recognized the right to smoke medical marijuana in private since the Amendment indicated there was no right to smoke it in public places.
The State of Florida quickly appealed the Order which will delay, at least temporarily, any right to legally smoke cannabis in Florida.
Dori K. Stibolt is a West Palm Beach, Florida based partner with Fox Rothschild LLP. She focuses her practice on litigation and labor and employment issues and has taken a special interest in the cannabis business. You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.