Floridians that qualify for medical marijuana treatment could soon be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, but they’d have to purchase pre-rolled joints.
According to a bill that was approved by the House Health and Human Services Committee 14-2 Tuesday, the loosening of the restrictions on medical marijuana would still require pre-rolled joints with filters, intended to address concerns about the negative health effects of smoking. The legislation would also would ban smoking for patients younger than 18.
The approval by the committee came after more than an hour of public comment by nearly a dozen citizens, marijuana advocates, industry representatives, and doctors.
Voters approved medical marijuana in 2016, but lawmakers banned smokable forms of the plant in a bill signed by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2017. The state was sued over the issue and a judge declared the ban unconstitutional. Scott, who is now a U.S. senator, appealed the ruling. DeSantis said in January that the current law doesn’t represent the will of the voters and said he’d drop the appeal if lawmakers didn’t repeal it as one of their first actions when their annual session begins next month.
“It is the will of the people to let them smoke,” said Barney Bishop, of the Florida Smart Justice Alliance, at the hearing. “So let them smoke.”