Last updated on October 2nd, 2020 at 10:01 am
> Can you Smoke Medical Marijuana in Florida – the Answer is NO.
In November of 2017, Florida voters passed the medical marijuana law with 71 percent voter approval. So now with our doctors’ approval, we can smoke marijuana in Florida. NO, that is not correct. Smoking marijuana in Florida is still illegal whether medical, recreational or otherwise.
Legislators in Tallahassee, Florida were tasked with setting rules to carry out the voter-approved constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana. In a special session, the medical marijuana law rules were approved. The medical marijuana law as voted and approved specifically says marijuana can’t be smoked in public. Lawmakers interpreted this as no smoking of marijuana at all.
So now Amendment 2 is in effect but the drug either low-THC (non-euphoric) marijuana or full-strength marijuana — must be consumed in oil or edible form. Smoking a joint is still illegal and prohibited. The new law will allow up to 17 businesses in Florida that can be licensed to grow and distribute medical cannabis.
Those who are allowed marijuana are patients who suffer from epilepsy, chronic muscle spasms, cancer, HIV & AIDS, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and similar conditions plus terminal conditions. Medical marijuana products can be sold as sprays, oils, edibles, vaping, oils, or tinctures. A 70 day supply is allowed before an additional doctor visit for reexamination.
Orlando attorney John Morgan is up in smoke and furious. He was a huge proponent of Amendment 2 and a large financial supporter. He has filed a lawsuit against the State of Florida. Morgan says that the law with the rules implemented that ban smoking marijuana violate the constitutional amendment that he fought to get approved. Morgan is arguing that the ballot amendment as voted on by the public says that smoking medical marijuana in public could be banned, it should be assumed that smoking it in private would be legal.
If you are an employer in Florida, you may be wondering what does the medical marijuana law mean for your business and your drug free workplace program. The text of the Florida medical marijuana law provides little guidance for employers. But the law does provide that there is no requirement for any accommodation of on-site medical use of marijuana in any place of employment. So, Florida employers can prohibit employees from smoking or consuming medical marijuana at the workplace.
What is very important is the language in your drug testing or drug free workplace policy in regard to medical and recreational marijuana use outside of the workplace. If your policy does not address medical and recreational marijuana, you will need a policy revision or a new policy. Management must make some important decisions. Will you hire an individual that tests positive for marijuana? Will you continue to employee someone who tests positive for marijuana? These are decisions that have to be made. Remember most State laws and court decision have been in favor of employers who utilize non-discriminatory zero tolerance drug policies and refuse to hire or terminate employees who fail a drug test for marijuana regardless of whether the marijuana was obtained legally. Also, marijuana still remains an illegal Schedule I drug under Federal law and always prohibited for DOT drug testing programs.