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Florida Senate Proposal Would Allow Smoking Medical Marijuana

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Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall

Amid a legal battle about the issue, a Senate Democrat on Thursday filed a proposal that would undo a ban on patients smoking medical marijuana.

Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, filed the bill (SB 726) for consideration during the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January. Lawmakers in June passed a measure to carry out a November 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

The measure bars smoking marijuana while allowing patients to use cannabis through other means, including vaping. Backers of the constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 2, filed a lawsuit this summer in Leon County circuit court challenging the ban on smoking.

The lawsuit remains pending, but Farmer's bill would resolve the dispute by allowing smoking. “Each and every legislator including myself swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the State of Florida,” Farmer said in a prepared statement Thursday.

“An overwhelming majority of voters ratified Amendment 2, and its intent could not be more clear: to allow for the use of medical marijuana, including smoking.”

But House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, an Estero Republican who has played a key role on marijuana issues, told reporters gathered Thursday for an Associated Press event that the House won't go along with allowing cannabis to be smoked.