Lawyer Michael Minardi, the general counsel for Florida NORML unloaded on a Florida House committee yesterday over the state’s ban on smoking medical marijuana.
Minardi, whose website proclaims he’s “The Gold Standard of the Green Industry,” joined other MMJ smoke proponents to shake the Florida House Health and Human Services Committee into axing the prohibition.
Before hearing from the advocates, committee Chairman Ray Rodrigues made a significant concession by stripping a provision that would have required docs to get approval from a “case review panel” before they could order smokable marijuana for patients.
The House plan now would restrict patients to buying pre-rolled joints with filters from licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. The advocates aren’t crazy about that provision, but hey, they can always rip off the filters and stuff the weed into a bong or whatev once they get it home, per Ray Rod.
Minardi told the committee that smoke is the number one choice for patients in other states where medical marijuana is legal. (It’s much cheaper than tinctures or vape oils). The committee also heard from patients who admitted they’re smoking weed so they can benefit from the “entourage effect” you can only get from whole flower.
“Patients are going to continue to use flower whether or not you do this (legalize smoking) or not. They’re going to either get it from the black market, as they already are, because they know it’s what works for them. Every other state in this country is laughing at us, saying that we gave our patients tinctures, and we have wax and shatter on the shelves, and not flower,” Minardi said.
“Do you understand the impact of that and how ironic that is? You’re giving them the hard stuff, but not letting them have the beer but take a shot of tequila. That’s what that’s equivalent to,” he went on.
We’re pretty sure that most of the members of the committee have no clue what “wax” or “shatter” is, but who hasn’t had a Dos Equis followed by a shot of Cuervo Gold?
Lawmakers are taking the wrong approach with filters, if they’re concerned about screening toxins out of joints, according to Minardi.
“A bong hit is the best way to do that,” he advised.
The pre-rolled, filtered MMJ “cigarettes” are sure to be a negotiation point between the House and Senate as they try to meet Gov. Ron DeSantis’ March 15 deadline to nix the smoking ban.
Sen. Jeff Brandes’ proposal, approved by the Innovation, Infrastructure and Technology Committee yesterday afternoon, doesn’t have any restrictions on whole flower sold at dispensaries, and would allow patients to buy equipment at smoke shops.
The buy-your-bong-at-a-bong-shop provision will likely be another item on the negotiation table.