Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Demands Repeal On State’s Smokable Marijuana Ban

Newly sworn-in Gov. Ron De Santis speaks during an event at the Freedom Tower where he named Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court DeSantis Threatens Airbnb with Sanctions over Israeli Settlement Boycott Joe Raedle Getty 16 Jan 2019
Ben Pena | 20 January, 2019, 18:43

Continuing his fast start on multiple fronts, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday wisely demanded that smokable marijuana be allowed for medical use in Florida and moved to end a pointless battle among members of his own political party.

A Leon County circuit judge previous year agreed with patients and other plaintiffs that the smoking ban ran afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana.

DeSantis also demonstrated a desire to work with persistent medical marijuana champions Rep. Matthew Gaetz (R-FL) and John Morgan, who were both beside DeSantis as he made his address.

Erdan, who heads a committee of Israeli government ministers charged with countering the Airbnb decision, last month sent letters to five governors in the United States, including DeSantis, urging them to express their opposition to the Airbnb decision and to take economic measures against the company. But if a plan is not developed by mid-March, DeSantis said he would drop the lawsuit.

After legislation initially stopped working in 2014, Florida citizens authorized the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalisation Initiative on November 8, 2016.

The state appealed, blocking the ruling from taking effect, but now, that may change. "And it's my judgment that what the Florida Legislature has done to implement the people's will has not done it in accordance with what the amendment envisioned".

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In May, Leon Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled the state's ban on smokable cannabis was unconstitutional, a decision followed nearly immediately by the state Department of Health appealing the case. "So I don't think this law is up to snuff".

"I want the elected Representatives to write the law the way the people intended", said Gov. DeSantis.

An overwhelming number of Floridians, "about as big a majority as you can get in this day and age", wanted patients with debilitating conditions to have access to medical marijuana, under the supervision of physicians, the governor said. DeSantis replaced fellow Republican Scott, who is now a US senator, earlier this month. "They created a cartel, essentially", he said.

The issue is at the center of another lawsuit being appealed by the state. DeSantis also said he would implement what the people want. "So I'd like them to address that as well", the governor said.

"The House will work with the governor on his priorities, including ensuring patients have options and our kids remain protected", said Florida state Rep. Jose Oliva, the speaker of the House.

"A legislative solution has always been my preferred course of action, and we will certainly honor the governor's request to bring a bill forward early in session that addresses both his concerns and those raised in litigation", he said.

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