May 29, 2018
Cathy Jordan, Diana Dodsen, Florida, Florida Department of Health, Florida for Care, Florida Legislature, Judge Karen Gievers, Leon County Circuit Court, medical cannabis, Medical Marijuana, patient rights, People United for Medical Marijuana, smokable marijuana
On May 25, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled that patients “have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for treatment of their debilitating medical conditions as recommended by their certified physicians.”
This is a big win for patient rights in Florida. After voters overwhelmingly approved the medical marijuana constitutional amendment in 2016, the Florida Legislature passed a law to prevent patients from using smokable marijuana. As you may know, for some patients, smoking marijuana is more effective than vaping or using edibles.
People United for Medical Marijuana and Florida for Care, joined by patients Cathy Jordan, who has ALS, and Diana Dodsen, who has AIDS, challenged the legislature’s attempt to restrict patients’ options. Judge Gievers ruled that patients have the right to use medical marijuana in private under the constitution.
Unfortunately, soon after Judge Gievers’ ruling, the Florida Department of Health appealed the decision, resulting in an automatic stay and preventing the decision from going into effect immediately. We are hopeful that the court decision will remain in effect and that patients will soon have the right to use medical marijuana in whatever way that works best for them.