Circuit Judge Karen Gievers will hear arguments this morning about lifting an automatic stay of a ruling that would allow patients to smoke medical marijuana.
Gievers on May 25 overturned part of a law passed last year by the Legislature that barred patients from smoking medical marijuana.
The law was designed to carry out a 2016 constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana for a wide range of patients, but the smoking ban quickly drew a legal challenge.
The Florida Department of Health, which regulates the drug through its Office of Medical Marijuana Use, appealed Gievers’ ruling on allowing smokable marijuana, which led to an automatic stay of the ruling.
The plaintiffs then filed a motion seeking to vacate the stay. Gievers will consider that request at a hearing today at 9 a.m., in the Leon County Courthouse in Tallahassee.
She had agreed with the argument that the amendment “recognizes there is no right to smoke in public places, thereby implicitly recognizing the appropriateness of using smokable medical marijuana in private places.”
Orlando attorney John Morgan has called on Gov. Rick Scott to drop the appeal. Morgan bankrolled the amendment and organized what he calls the ‘no smoke is a joke’ lawsuit.
“How much more money is the state of Florida going to spend chasing (its) tail?” he said in a news conference last week.
Background contributed by Tallahassee correspondent Jim Rosica.