Gov. Ron DeSantis gives legislature deadline to address medical marijuana law

Author: CBS Miami
Published: Updated:
Gov. Ron DeSantis. (CBS News photo)
Gov. Ron DeSantis. (CBS News photo)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a major policy announcement on medical marijuana on Thursday afternoon from Winter Park, Florida.

The new governor announced he wants the legislature to abandon an appeal of a court decision that said a ban on smoking medical marijuana violates the constitutional amendment.

If they don’t, he said he will drop the appeal himself, said the governor. DeSantis also said he would implement what the people want.

“I want people to have their suffering relieved,” DeSantis said.

Former Gov. Rick Scott’s administration appealed the decision to the 1st District Court of Appeal, which heard arguments in the case Tuesday, the same day DeSantis was sworn into office.

DeSantis, a Republican, said many voters believe the state has been “foot-dragging” in implementing the amendment, largely bankrolled by Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan and approved by more than 71 percent of voters in 2016.

Appearing Monday at a press conference in Miami-Dade County to name Judge Robert J. Luck to the Florida Supreme Court, DeSantis said his medical-marijuana announcement will deal not only with “the litigation” but also with “legislation that I think is needed to implement the people’s will.”

The smoking ban was included in a 2017 law that was aimed at carrying out the constitutional amendment. The law also capped the number of medical-marijuana licenses and the number of dispensaries in the state. Court decisions in other lawsuits also ruled those limitations were in conflict with the amendment.

DeSantis said he wants to make sure the amendment is carried out “in a way for the folks that voted for it that they can feel that that’s what they voted for.”

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