Medical marijuana patients sue Florida over smokable marijuana ban

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The state's ban on smoking medical marijuana was in court Thursday where patients argued the ban is hurting them and is unconstitutional.

Cathy Jordan has legally smoked marijuana as a medical necessity since April of 2013. It is the only drug that has kept her ALS, better know as Lou Gehrig's disease, at bay.

Cathy is one of three patients suing the state, hoping to overturn Florida's ban on smoking medical marijuana.

"We're fighting for her right to life, really, that's what it boils down to," Cathy's husband, Robert Jordan said.

The constitutional amendment approved by voters says only that it doesn't permit smoking pot in public. Cathy's lawyers say that means it can be smoked in private.

"There's no question that the definition of medical marijuana in this constitutional provision includes smokable marijuana," said Attorney Jon Mills.

But the state argues the constitutional silence gives it the power to ban all smokable marijuana.

"There is no express requirement that smoking medical marijuana has to be allowed under the amendment," said Assistant Attorney General Rachel Nordby.

The judge promised a quick ruling. Cathy's husband says her life depends on it.

We asked what would happen if Cathy had no supply of smokable marijuana.

"Cathy would die. She would die," Robert said.

"We're leaving Florida. We'll find somewhere," said Cathy.

The same judge earlier this this week refused to throw out a challenge to the state's ban on growing marijuana.

The smoking ban was sought by most law enforcement. They argued to lawmakers that medicine isn't smoked and secondhand smoke could impact other in the home.

Advocates say vaporizing or eating marijuana does not capture all of the 400 cannabinoids contained in the original plant, which makes smoking it more effective than eating or vaping.