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Judge To Hear Arguments In Marijuana Smoking Case

Gavel and a stethoscope
Flickr Creative

A Leon County circuit judge will hear arguments next month about whether she should dismiss a challenge to a new law that bars patients from smoking medical marijuana.

Circuit Judge Karen Gievers has scheduled a hearing Jan. 25 in the state's attempt to scuttle the lawsuit.

Florida voters in November 2016 passed a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana in the state. The Legislature in June approved a law to help carry out the amendment and included a ban on smoking marijuana.

The law allows marijuana to be used in other ways, including by allowing patients to vaporize, or “vape,” marijuana products. But Orlando attorney John Morgan, who largely bankrolled the medical-marijuana legalization drive, filed a lawsuit in July contending that lawmakers violated the constitutional amendment by barring smoking.

Attorneys for the state are asking Gievers to dismiss the lawsuit, contending in part that lawmakers looked at smoking-related health dangers in deciding to approve the ban.