Despite a judge’s favorable ruling last month, Florida’s medical marijuana patients remain legally prohibited from smoking cannabis.

On May 25, Leon County Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers said the Florida Legislature’s ban on smoking medical weed was unconstitutional and gave the state a Monday deadline to establish a distribution system for dispensaries. Floridians voted by a 71 percent margin in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana with a constitutional amendment that included no restrictions on modes of consumption.

The Florida Department of Health, however, has requested a stay on Gievers’ ruling pending a review by the First District Court of Appeals, which means the ban remains in effect until yet more legal hurdles are cleared. People United for Medical Marijuana have filed a motion for immediate resolution with the Florida Supreme Court.

Parrish resident Cathy Jordan, a longtime ALS patient whose debilitating symptoms are relieved only by smoking marijuana containing the psychoactive ingredient THC, has a special court-certified exemption to grow small amounts of personal-use weed. She and her husband, Bob, were disappointed in the state’s attempt to overrule Judge Gievers.

“We want to get that (smoking ban) lifted so patients can still smoke the flower until it goes to the Supreme Court, which could be a couple of months or it could be a year,” said Bob Jordan on Tuesday. “There are thousands of patients like Cathy who can’t afford to wait. What’s the upside (for the state) here? I don’t get it. This is pure political meanness.”

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