Florida appeals court rejects request to speed up smokable medical marijuana case

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An appeals court Tuesday rejected a request to quickly send a major medical-marijuana case to the Florida Supreme Court.

The case focuses on arguments about whether a 2017 law improperly bars patients from smoking medical marijuana. Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers last month ruled that the smoking ban violated a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in Florida.



Attorneys for the state appealed Gievers’ ruling to the 1st District Court of Appeal. Plaintiffs in the case, including the group People United for Medical Marijuana, filed a motion June 8 asking that the case be “certified” to the Supreme Court —- a move that would effectively lead to bypassing the 1st District Court of Appeal.

The plaintiffs argued, in part, that the ban on smoking marijuana “presents an immediate threat of irreparable injuries to those patients for whom this medical (smoking) treatment is currently prohibited.”



But attorneys for the state disputed that the case should go immediately to the Supreme Court.

“(There) are various other forms of medical marijuana presently available and approved (or permitted) … in Florida for qualifying patients,” the state argued in a June 12 brief. “For example, vaping or vaporization of marijuana flower is permitted for medical use, so long as the flower is in a sealed, tamperproof receptacle.”

The appeals court Tuesday issued a one-sentence order rejecting the request to certify the case to the Supreme Court, though the order did not explain the reasoning.

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