Medical Marijuana to Be Legalized in Florida

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On January 8th, Ron DeSantis became Governor of Florida, and one of his first decisions was to legalize medical marijuana in Florida.


Last year, attorney John Morgan sued the state of Florida on grounds that a ban on smoking dried cannabis for medical purposes is unconstitutional. A judge agreed to allow dried cannabis to be sold in Florida, but previous Governor Rick Scott appealed this decision.


After DeSantis took office on January 8th, he has been informing the public on what his plans are for the market: He wishes to open up the market for medical marijuana by allowing companies to provide services such as growing, dispensing, or transporting this resource. Since 2019, two bills have already been passed for smoking and for requiring dispensaries to be independently owned, rather than being controlled by growers. Though it is protected under Amendment 2 for those with debilitating diseases, marijuana would only be legal in the form of sprays, oils, tinctures, edibles, and vaping.


The purpose of medical marijuana is to be used as medicine, especially for chronic pain. According to, several studies have shown that medical marijuana can reduce the number of deaths caused by opioid painkillers. The language of Amendment 2 was written to allow medical marijuana to be provided as a treatment for diseases including cancer, epilepsy, PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, and others.


American voters have supported medical marijuana for years. In 2010, a survey showed that 73% supported medical marijuana; in 2016, a vote resulted with 71% of Floridians supporting the ban on medical marijuana to be lifted. Junior Hailey Osborn supports the decision, stating “[it is] a good thing to help people with medical issues as an extra option for treatment.” Banning a medical treatment option will bring a limitation on ways to treat diseases, since the chances of overdosing on medical marijuana are much lower than other medications, such as opioid painkillers.


There is the other side of the argument, although, that believes the decision should extend to becoming legalized both medically and recreationally, instead of only medically. Sophomores Joe Brightman and Jaden Baethke both believe that Florida should join other states in allowing it to be legal in all forms. Brightman explains that “[medical marijuana] will definitely help some people medically. However, it is a system that will be abused.” People can fake their reason for needing it, abusing the easier access to marijuana. They may simply find a way around the system altogether.


Governor Ron DeSantis is pushing to have the new law completed by mid-March of 2019. If the Legislature fails to be instituted, he threatens to challenge with lawsuits on both issues: legalizing medical marijuana and loosening the restrictions on treatment center licenses.