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Marijuana smoking legal battle put on hold
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Marijuana smoking legal battle put on hold

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An appeals court Tuesday put on hold a case challenging the constitutionality of a ban on smoking medical marijuana, as Gov. Ron DeSantis pushes lawmakers to eliminate the ban. The 1st District Court of Appeal approved a stay sought by both sides in the lawsuit. Attorneys last week asked the court to postpone the case “through and including March 15.”

The case centers on whether a 2017 law that banned patients from smoking medical marijuana ran afoul of a constitutional amendment that broadly legalized the cannabis treatment for Floridians with debilitating medical conditions. After a Leon County circuit judge sided with the plaintiffs, the state — under former Gov. Rick Scott — appealed the ruling.

But this month, DeSantis said he wanted the Legislature to do away with the ban, and he gave lawmakers until mid-March to address the issue. DeSantis also has threatened to drop the appeal if lawmakers don’t act. The Senate Health Policy Committee on Monday is scheduled to take up a bill (SB 182), filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, that would eliminate the smoking ban.

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