Court advances Joe Redner’s legal battle to grow medical marijuana

Joe Redner

Tampa adult club entrepreneur and activist Joe Redner‘s legal case challenging Florida’s ban on homegrown marijuana will go to trial, a state circuit court judge ruled Wednesday.

Tallahassee-based Circuit Judge Karen Gievers denied a motion to dismiss put forward by the Florida Department of Health.

Gievers also rejected Redner’s motion for an emergency temporary injunction, but — more importantly — also ruled Redner has a constitutional right as a “qualifying patient” to possess a live cannabis plant.

“The greater weight of the credible evidence supports some of the factors inherent in the proper granting of the temporary injunction sought, specifically the constitutionally recognized right of the plaintiff, as a qualifying patient to possess growing plants,” wrote Gievers.

“Like the lawsuit regarding smoking, we are very interested in how the courts are going to interpret the constitutional amendment’s protection of patients’ rights,” said Taylor Biehl of the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida.

A hearing is slated for Thursday on whether to throw out Orlando attorney John Morgans lawsuit over the ban on smoking medical marijuana. Morgan championed the citizen initiative to add a right to medicinal cannabis to the state constitution.

Redner is a stage 4 lung cancer patient, initially diagnosed in 2011 and currently in remission.  He became of one of the first people in Florida to challenge the state’s medical marijuana laws in June after state lawmakers implemented the 2016 constitutional amendment into law.

A multimillionaire, Redner has said that he filed the lawsuit because “many patients don’t have enough money to pay for their medicine, let alone a lawsuit. “

“I filed this lawsuit because I couldn’t have survived cancer without medical marijuana,” he said in a statement. “I am a raw vegan, and I want to juice my own raw cannabis to protect my health. The only way to do that is to grow my own cannabis.”

“I think this is a huge step forward for patients in need of this critical medicine,” said Luke Lirot, the Clearwater-based attorney who argued the case on Redner’s behalf last month. “It helps sweep away a lot of inaccurate myths and unjustified fear exhibited by those who, regardless of the overwhelming evidence, still oppose anyone having access to medical cannabis.

“The best part of the decision is that the Court truly embraced what we all know was the will of a vast majority of Florida’s voters.”

“This is not a complicated case,” added Amanda Carter, another of Redner’s attorneys. “All we are asking the Court to do here is follow the Florida Constitution and declare that sick people have a right to grow cannabis for medical purposes. I am relieved that the Judge understood that.”

Gievers gave the DOH two weeks to respond to the order. She will then schedule a trial.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected].


  • Christopher M. Kennard

    January 24, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    For a period of several years, beginning in 2012, I helped to distribute Medical Marijuana petitions for registered Florida voters to sign, in order that voters, themselves, could decide whether or not to legalize the use of Medical Marijuana in Florida.

    By September of 2015, after watching Florida State Legislators repeatedly attempt to throw roadblocks in front of the efforts being made to use Medical Marijuana, I continued to advice folks of the medicinal uses of cannabis, and began to distribute petitions that now completely legalize all plants of the genus, Cannabis, as well as the right of adults in Florida over the age of twenty-one to possess, use and grow their own cannabis, on private property, such as within the sanctity of your own home or backyard.

    The name of this state constitutional provision is the “RIGHT OF ADULTS TO CANNABIS” [Initiative Serial # 15-20] upon which Florida voters will be able to voice their opinion and cast their votes to decide whether or not to completely legalize cannabis in Florida.

    To sign a petition, go to to print out and read a petition. If you agree, sign one and pass along a copy or two to other registered Florida voters to sign. We need the proverbial one million signed petitions by next year in order to vote in the 2020 election to legalize cannabis in Florida.

    Let’s get busy and get this done this time around.

  • Mr. Smith

    January 30, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Thank you Joe! For doing what most of us could not afford to do.

Comments are closed.


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