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Bill to Repeal Florida's Medical Marijuana Smoking Ban 'Radically' Weakened in Committee

A high-profile effort to repeal the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana morphed Monday into legislation that, according to the proposal’s author, would be worse for patients than doing nothing at all.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has given state lawmakers until March 15---10 days after the 2019 legislative session begins---to address the smoking ban, which was included in a sweeping 2017 law aimed at implementing a constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana.

DeSantis agrees with proponents of the amendment and a Leon County circuit judge that the smoking ban runs afoul of the constitutional amendment, approved by more than 71 percent of voters in 2016. If lawmakers don’t act, the Republican governor threatened to drop the state’s appeal of the judge’s ruling that the ban is unconstitutional.

Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican who has long been a proponent of medical marijuana, has filed a measure (SB 182) to strip the ban from the law.

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