Florida Congress approves repeal ban on marijuana for smoking

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Florida Congress approves repeal ban on marijuana for smoking A worker packages medical marijuana in a greenhouse of the BOL Pharma company in Lod, Israel, on January 23, 2018. EFE / Archivo

Miami, Florida – The Florida Legislature passed a bill Wednesday that repeals the prohibition to smoke medical marijuana, whose therapeutic use was approved by voters in 2016.

The initiative was approved in the lower house with 101 votes in favor and 11 against, and will be the first to go to the office of state governor Ron DeSantis for signature at the current session, which began last week.

The approval comes after the state Senate also approved days ago to repeal the prohibition, which did not have the approval of DeSantis.

DeSantis had warned in January that if the state Congress did not approve the repeal, it would withdraw an appeal to a court ruling that argued that prohibiting smoking medical marijuana violates a constitutional amendment, an appeal filed by his predecessor in office. Republican Rick Scott.

The medical use of marijuana in Florida came into force in January 2017 after a plebiscite approved in 2016 by more than 71% of voters, although the government then led by Scott implemented the rule prohibiting in the text the possibility of smoking it.

The prohibition merited a lawsuit that was approved by a court, before which the state administration filed an appeal in a district court in Tallahassee, capital of the state, on the same day that DeSantis took office.

“I thank the Florida Legislature for taking action against medical marijuana and defending the will of voters,” DeSantis wrote on his official Twitter account on Wednesday.

The text that will go to the signature of the governor also increases until 210 days the prescription of therapeutic marijuana of the doctors, who could only issue a prescription for 70 days.

Currently, some 33 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form, including a dozen for recreational purposes. (EFEUSA)

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