John Morgan Sued the Florida Legislature for Smokable Marijuana

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Orlando Florida’s John Morgan is nothing if not a legal pit-bull. A potential gubernatorial candidate for 2018 in the Sunshine State, the Kentucky-born attorney has filed a lawsuit against the Florida State Legislature over their smokeless medical marijuana bill.

Passed last year by a stunning vote, Florida’s Amendment 2 received 71% approval. The amendment is required by law to be in place by July 3, 2017, and operational three months later. After a protracted wait for Florida’s elected officials to act during a special session, the bill they ultimately produced fell far short of the will of the people.

Pleased the Legislature eventually got around to doing their job – passing watered-down legislation rather than leaving it to the Florida Department of Health to sort out – Morgan felt in the end that it all boiled down to politics as usual and politically-connected special interests groups.

One of the primary intentions of Amendment 2, principally authored and funded by John Morgan, was either ignored or misunderstood by state lawmakers. Pushing back on politically warped logic, Morgan told Sunshine State News, “I don’t know what their problem is with smoke but that’s clearly the intent of the amendment.”

A man of his word, Morgan initially fired a warning shot across the political bow of the state legislature after they passed their smokeless bill during the special session.

No longer a threat, it’s officially on …

Marijuana.com was able to obtain an advance copy of Morgan’s suit, which argues the Florida state legislators violated the intent of the voters when they prohibited medical marijuana from being smoked.

Named in Morgan’s lawsuit as a defendant are the Secretary of Health for the State of Florida, Celeste Philip M.D. and the Florida Department Of Health; Christian Bax and the Office of Compassionate Use; James Orr M.D and the Florida Board of Medicine, and Anna Hayden D.O. as the Chair of the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

Filed in Leon County Circuit Court Thursday morning, Morgan’s lawsuit is asking the court to declare the law implementing the 2016 constitutional amendment as null and void.

THE STATUTORY DEFINITION OF “MEDICAL USE” IN THE IMPLEMENTING BILL IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEFINITION OF “MEDICAL USE” PASSED BY VOTERS AS ART. X, § 29(B)(6).

Submitted by Morgan’s lead attorney, Jon Mills, the lawsuits primary argument is that “Inhalation is a medically effective and efficient way to deliver tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other cannabinoids, to the bloodstream.” Also citing a 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Morgan’s lawsuit takes on the assertion that inhaling marijuana smoke is detrimental to an individual’s health.

“Marijuana smoking was shown to not impair lung function, based on the doses inhaled by the majority of users, as compared to non-smokers and tobacco smokers. In fact, marijuana smoking was shown to increase lung capacity.“

Passed by an overwhelming majority of registered Floridians, Morgan’s lawsuit took issue with Florida’s legislators redefining the term ‘medical use.’ “By redefining the constitutionally defined term ‘medical use’ to exclude smoking, the Legislature substitutes its medical judgment for that of ‘a licensed Florida physician’ and is in direct conflict with the specifically articulated Constitutional process.”

The ballot summary for Amendment 2 approved by the voters of the State of Florida was clear and concise: “Medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers.”

The Florida legislature passed a provision that describes “medical use” as excluding “possession, use or administration of marijuana in a form for smoking.”  Distraught over the new definition, Morgan’s lawsuit asserts the new provisions “redefined and narrowed” the intended outcome of Amendment 2, in direct conflict with Florida’s Constitution.

The lawsuit asserts that by tweaking the definition of “medical use,” a constitutionally defined term,  Florida’s legislature substituted its medical judgment for that of “a licensed Florida physician,” conflicting with Florida’s Constitution.

III. THE IMPLEMENTING BILL THAT MAKES SMOKING UNLAWFUL IN ANY LOCATION, INCLUDING IN A PRIVATE PLACE, IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE TEXT AND INTENT OF ART. X, §29(C)(6), WHICH ALLOWS LEGAL RESTRICTIONS ON SMOKING MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN A PUBLIC PLACE “UNLIKE THE PROPER USE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN A PRIVATE PLACE WHICH IS NOT ILLEGAL.”

Provided John Morgan prevails in this lawsuit and the court agrees to invalidate the law implementing the bill, the Florida Department of Health will be tasked with writing the new rules for implementing Florida’s medical marijuana program.

Florida Lawsuit: People United for Medical Marijuana, Inc. by Monterey Bud on Scribd

About Author

Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

6 Comments

  1. It is about time that someone with the wherewithal to do it is letting the Florida legislature know that they can’t hide their hate of the people of Florida anymore.
    Sue the shit out of them. The individuals responsible should be named, if for no other reason so the voters will know who to vote out!

    • Lawrence Goodwin on

      “The individuals responsible should be named…” Obviously, they’re not in Florida, but the three men most responsible for “no smoking” rules in many states are New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, NY Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, and CEO of Vireo Health Dr. Kyle Kingsley. These three men secretly agreed, in 2014, to impose their own arrogant, “we-know-better-than-anyone” version of medical “marijuana” on the states of Minnesota and New York. The result is woefully restrictive state controls in MN and NY. Cuomo, Zucker and Kingsley all publicly stated that other states should follow their lead.

  2. I need a Florida lawyer. I was wrongfully terminated for being honest for having a medical marijuana card in Connecticut. They control of the company hide my negative test results on two occasions which I caught her doing so. I stop my pain medicine the day the company asked if I would like to interview for the position. Yes I stopped to comply with their rules. Breast cancer survivor. The job lost created financial and emotional stress. Not to mention I suffered pain from not having my medication.

  3. Morgan’s lawsuit takes on the assertion that inhaling marijuana smoke is detrimental to an individual’s health.
    2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,
    “Marijuana smoking was shown to not impair lung function, based on the doses inhaled by the majority of users, as compared to non-smokers and tobacco smokers. In fact, marijuana smoking was shown to increase lung capacity.“

  4. Steve Naramore on

    Way to go John, I’m glad you have the power to confront those who refuse to comply with the will of the people. All of their arguments are archaic and I’m sure the big Pharma companies are behind many efforts to hinder the acquisition of SAFE pain medications. I know those states that have legalized got nowhere near 72%, an unheard of landslide, mainly due to your efforts. Thanks

  5. Donald Isbell Jr. on

    In a couple months when I am eligible to get my medical marijuana card, although I have never vaped anything, so would have to change to a more uncomfortable unknown way to consume my medicine, the cost of the cartridges are covering up what they are really selling. The cartridge of 250 mg is actually 1 gram of cannabis (1 gram = 1000 milligram, and so 1 gram of 25% THC is 250 mg) for $37. Or the 600 mg cartridge is actually 2.5 grams of cannabis (1 gram = 1000 mg, so 1 gram of 24% THC is 240 mg. 240 x 2.5 = 600 mg) for $74. This is highway robbery. 4x the medical marijuana cost in Colorado, where you can get flower, or grown your own. How am I as a disabled person on fixed income supped to afford my medicine? Or should I stay a criminal and get it for a lot less? Even at $300/ounce, that’s less than $11 / gram. So $30 to $37 / gram is just that, highway robbery, made into law.

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