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Smoking medical marijuana becomes legal in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday that now makes smokable medical marijuana legal in the Sunshine State, which had been a priority for the Republican governor since taking office in January. However, qualified patients may have to wait a bit before they are prescribed a smokable form of pot.

“Over 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in 2016,” DeSantis tweeted Monday, referring to a constitutional amendment that passed at the time. “I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for working with me to ensure the will of the voters is upheld.”

The governor had been vocal on the issue: “Whether they have to smoke it or not, who am I to judge?” DeSantis said at a speaking engagement in Florida earlier this year, reports WKMG-TV. DeSantis also said qualified patients should be allowed to smoke medical marijuana, explaining that lawmakers had to do away with the smoking ban by mid-March, CBS affiliate WPEC-TV reports. If they didn’t, he warned that he would drop Florida’s appeal of a lawsuit surrounding the ban.

The new law is effective immediately, reports the Orlando Sentinel, but the Florida health department must create guidelines for doctors who are planning to prescribe smokable medical marijuana. Until then, smokable pot won’t be available for patients.

AP points out that smokable medical marijuana would not be available to anyone under 18 unless the patient is terminally ill, according to the new law, and if two doctors approve. Among other limitations, it could not be smoked in public or at private businesses subject to a cigarette smoking ban.

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