Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi and his office filed a 57-page brief last week that argues why the ban on smoking medical marijuana should be upheld.
The office has argued that an appeals court should uphold the decision by the Legislature.
Filed at the 1st District Court of Appeal, the brief follows a May ruling by Judge Karen Gievers of Leon County who said that the ban on smoking marijuana had violated a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.
Orlando lawyer John Morgan had filed a lawsuit last year challenging the smoking ban.
“Notably, the Legislature considered evidence of the health hazards of smoking and concluded that smoking marijuana constitutes a harmful delivery method,” the brief read.
“Time and again during debate, elected members of Florida’s Legislature emphasized that the amendment is exclusively about medicine and that smoking is antithetical to good medicine. In considering these health-related factors, the Legislature reasonably determined that the harms caused by smoking — including harms to patients and those exposed to secondhand smoke — were ample reason to exclude smoking from the statutory definition of ‘medical use.’ The Legislature, therefore, acted under its general authority to regulate public health, safety, and welfare when it drew a reasonable line between the smoking of medical marijuana and other delivery methods.”
Judge Gievers had said in May that the language in 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 consistent with the amendment.”
The “ability to smoke medical marijuana was implied” in the constitutional language “and is, therefore, a protected right,” Gievers had written.