In Florida, lawmakers are reportedly preparing to make important amendments to the state’s medical marijuana laws. Specifically, the Florida House has announced its intention to pass a bill that will make it legal for adults to consume smokable forms of medical marijuana. The change could bring about a conclusion to a long winded debate in Florida over smokable medical marijuana.
The House Announces an Upcoming Change
News of the House’s intention came yesterday from Florida House speaker Jose Oliva. According to Oliva, the House is now prepared to allow smokable forms of medical marijuana into the state’s medical marijuana program.
Once the bill becomes law, adults participating in the medical marijuana program will be allowed to use smokable forms of medicine. The new bill will continue to prohibit anyone younger than 21 from accessing smokable marijuana.
As reported by local news sources, some lawmakers are still skeptical about the efficacy of smokable medical marijuana. In particular, many lawmakers are especially worried about non-adults smoking medical marijuana.
“There’s no medicine that we know of, that is smokable. Controlling the dosage of medicine in smokable form is not something that can be done,” Oliva said.
“So there’s a challenge between what I think we have to pass because there’s an amendment in place and what I would like to see. I don’t get to decide on the question that I wish was before me, I have to decide on the question that is.”
In addition to allowing for smokable forms of medical marijuana, Oliva also commented on additional features of the upcoming changes. Specifically, he mentioned the possibility of establishing new research programs.
“Part of our bill will be an extensive study at the University of Florida hopefully in conjunction with the other universities to fully understand what are the effects of smoking marijuana,” Oliva told Florida media.
Florida’s Evolving Medical Marijuana Program
Medical marijuana has been relatively contentious in Florida. To begin with, voters in the state approved medical marijuana back in 2016.
Then, a short time later, the program almost immediately ran into problems. Specifically, former Governor Rick Scott blocked smokable forms of marijuana.
At the time, he argued that the language of the bill approved by voters did not specifically allow for smokable marijuana. This, he claimed, meant that it should not be part of the program.
Not surprisingly, medical marijuana advocates pushed back. Specifically, they argued that smokable marijuana should be an option. From there, the state went through some back and forth on the issue.
At the beginning of 2019, change seemed to be approaching. When Governor Ron DeSantis took office, he almost immediately said he wanted to solve the smokable medical marijuana issue. And he said he wanted to allow patients to access smokable medicine.
Now, it looks like the state might actually be getting close to a formal solution. It’s unclear how long the process might take to finalize the new bill. But with the House apparently on board, the path to completing the necessary legislation should be relatively obstacle free.