– A state law banning patients from smoking medical marijuana is unconstitutional, a Tallahassee judge ruled late Friday.

In a highly anticipated but not surprising decision, Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers found that a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2016 that broadly legalized medical marijuana gives eligible patients the right to smoke the treatment in private.

The law banning smoking of medical marijuana “is invalid because it conflicts with the Florida Constitution and prohibits a use of medical marijuana that is permitted by the amendment: smoking in private,” Gievers wrote in Friday’s 22-page order.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Health said the state is expected to appeal, which likely would place Gievers’ order on hold.

Gievers’ decision came a little more than a week after a hearing in which Cathy Jordan, a patient who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease more than three decades ago, told the judge she credits smoking joints with saving her life.

Jordan is among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit initiated by John Morgan, the Orlando trial lawyer who largely bankrolled what was known as Amendment 2. The prohibition on smoking

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