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Gov. DeSantis makes announcement about smokable medical marijuana

Posted: 10:46 AM, Jan 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-17 14:35:37-05
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WINTER PARK, Fla. — Florida's new Governor tackled the controversial issue of medical marijuana on Thursday.

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At a news conference in Winter Park, he said he wants to end a ban on smokable medical marijuana in Florida.

"I want people to have their suffering relieved," said Gov. DeSantis. "This law isn't up to snuff."

The Governor said he's filing a stay of decision in an appeal by the state Legislature, which wants to keep that ban in place.

Last May, a judge ruled that approved patients can smoke medical marijuana. The state Legislature then appealed that decision.

On Thursday, Gov. DeSantis said he's giving state lawmakers until mid-March to reform or rewrite Florida's law on medical marijuana.

"I want the elected Representatives to write the law the way the people intended," said Gov. DeSantis. "So we'll give them a couple weeks in session to address the smoking issue."

He said if the Legislature doesn't reach a decision by then, his office will dismiss the state's appeal, which will open the door for smokable medical marijuana to be legal in Florida.

"This thing should have been implemented, we should have moved on," said Gov. DeSantis. "For someone who has these really tough conditions, I want to do whatever we can to provide relief for these folks."

Gov. DeSantis was joined at the news conference by Orlando attorney and medical marijuana supporter John Morgan, who filed a lawsuit against the state's ban on smokable medical marijuana.

In 2016, more than 71 percent of Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing medical use of marijuana.

Since then, the Republican-dominated Legislature has been criticized for the way it's implemented the amendment in state law.

Gov. DeSantis said the current law doesn't reflect the will of voters and that it's not up to him what form of marijuana patients use to treat debilitating illnesses.

The Governor has been very busy since taking office on Jan. 7 and laying out his plan for our state's future.

Earlier this week, he took issue with Airbnb for refusing to list Jewish homes in the West Bank. He also said he supports at least $2 million in funding for security at Jewish day schools.

On Monday, he appointed appellate court judge Robert Luck to Florida's Supreme Court, filling the second of three vacancies on the high court.

Last Friday, Gov. DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over his agency's handling of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland last February.

He also called for governing board members of the South Florida Water Management District to resign during a stop in Stuart last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.