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Local doctor says smokable marijuana will help patients

Posted at 10:33 PM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 22:33:47-04

The debate to smoke medical marijuana continues.

On Friday, a Circuit Court judge ruled the state's ban to smoke medical marijuana unconstitutional, but less than an hour after that ruling the Florida's Department of Health appealed that ruling.

Since the 2016 ruling, some doctors in the area have changed their specialty. One doctor says medical marijuana can have a life changing impact. 

Dr. Jennifer Guthrie has practiced medicine for 9 years, but in November she decided to switch up her specialty.

"Everyone assumes that it's all stoners doing this, people who are just out to get high and that's not the case at all," she said. 

In fact Dr. Guthrie says she has a wide range of patients.

"I see everything from epilepsy to people with chronic pain, to people Glaucoma, HIV," Dr. Guthrie said.

She says she's learned that each patient requires different care.

"Everyone's systems are very different, all their receptors are different and they react differently," she said. "Some people get no relief from any other way other than smoking the actual flower."

Right now, that's illegal. In November of 2016, voters approved the use of medical marijuana, but only through food, oils, spray and vaping. 

In a statement to WPTV, the Florida Department of Health said the following:

"This ruling goes against what the legislature outlined when they wrote and approved Florida’s law to implement the constitutional amendment that was approved by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority. The department has appealed the ruling and the appeal imposes an automatic stay. The department remains committed to implementing the law so Florida patients have safe access to this medicine."

"Whether they get their hands on concentrated oil or flower if someone wants to abuse something they're going to abuse it," Dr. Guthrie said. "I don't think adding another treatment method is going to hurt their case at all."

If Governor Rick Scott doesn't reconsider the state's appeal, an Orlando attorney says he could ask the Florida Supreme Court to hear the case on expedited basis since one of the plaintiffs in this case has ALS.

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