Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who was sworn in on January 8, 2019, called on the Florida State Legislature to repeal a law that was designed to ban smokable forms of marijuana.
In June 2017, Rick Scott (R), who preceded DeSantis in the governor’s office, signed the bill banning smokable marijuana, which a court then struck down as violating Amendment 2. Approved in 2016, Amendment 2 was a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana. People United for Medical Marijuana filed a legal complaint against the bill banning smokable marijuana, saying the legislation was inconsistent with the text and purpose of Amendment 2. Gov. Scott’s administration appealed the court’s ruling, which resulted in the order being stayed.
On January 17, 2019, Gov. DeSantis said he was giving the state legislature, which convenes on March 5, until mid-March to repeal the ban itself or else he would drop the state’s appeal. He stated, “What the Florida Legislature has done to implement the people’s will has not been done in accordance with what the amendment envisioned. … I don’t want this thing done judiciously if we can help it.” House Speaker José Oliva (R-110) responded to the governor’s statement, saying, “The governor’s willingness to engage with us is appreciated and the House will work with the governor on his priorities, including ensuring patients have options and our kids remain protected.”