John Morgan gets 'ready to rumble' on no-smoke medical pot - Florida Politics

John Morgan gets ‘ready to rumble’ on no-smoke medical pot

Orlando attorney and entrepreneur John Morgan says he will make good on his threat to sue the state over this year’s implementation bill for medical marijuana because it doesn’t allow such cannabis to be smoked.

“Heading to Tally in the morning to file suit against the state on behalf of the citizens & patients of Florida!!” he tweeted Wednesday afternoon, adding the hashtag #NoSmokeIsAJoke.

He also included a GIF showing boxing ring announcer Michael Buffer and his trademarked catchphrase, “Let’s get ready to rumble!”

A press conference is planned between 9 and 9:30 a.m. outside the Leon County Courthouse, he added.

Morgan, the main backer of the marijuana amendment that passed last year, has said he would sue because lawmakers would not allow medicinal marijuana to be smoked.

“It was part of my amendment,” he said last month. The amendment refers to allowing cannabis to be smoked only indirectly, however.

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It says in one section, for instance, the state can’t “require any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any correctional institution or detention facility or place of education or employment, or of smoking medical marijuana in any public place.”

The amendment also uses the state law definition of marijuana that includes “every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin,” seeming to suggest smokeable cannabis is allowed. 

The 2017 Legislative Session ended without a bill to implement the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment. An implementing bill gives guidance and instructions to state agencies on how to enforce state law.

Lawmakers wound up coming up with legislation during a later Special Session.

Gov. Rick Scott approved both a bill (SB 8-A) that implements the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment, passed by voters last year, and a companion measure (SB 6-A) that exempts caregivers’ personal information from public disclosure. Both went into effect immediately.

The medical cannabis constitutional amendment passed with just over 71 percent of statewide voters approving the measure.

Jim Rosica covers state government from Tallahassee for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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