A Florida lawyer, John Morgan, has filed a lawsuit against the state of Florida for banning the smoking of medical marijuana. Mr. Morgan sponsored the amendment that voters approved last November and is a strong believer in the medical benefits of smoking marijuana instead of vaping or eating it. While the research on how smoking marijuana affects the lungs is limited, there seems to be no official record of it causing lung cancer.
John Morgan, the lawyer who spearheaded Florida’s 2016 constitutional amendment to allow medical marijuana use, says that the Legislature has ignored the will of the voters by banning smoking it.
In November, about 71 percent of Florida voters approved the medical marijuana amendment.
To implement the new law, the Legislature passed a provision that defines medical use to exclude smoking marijuana.
Morgan filed a lawsuit July 6 asking the Leon County Circuit Court to declare the Legislature’s provision unenforceable. He says that while the amendment allows the Legislature to ban smoking in public, it does not allow it to ban smoking in general.
In the lawsuit, Morgan made some claims about the benefits of marijuana and then said this:
“Despite decades of marijuana being used for smoking in the United States, there have been no reported medical cases of lung cancer or emphysema attributed to marijuana.”
There have been people who smoked marijuana who had lung cancer, but that in itself doesn’t tell us if marijuana caused the cancer. We found some evidence to support Morgan’s statement, but the research comes with significant caveats and experts say more research is needed to reach more definitive conclusions.
Ben Pollara, who worked with Morgan on the amendment, sent us multiple articles related to research on cancer and marijuana.
The most comprehensive information comes from a January 2017 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
The report was written by a committee of experts who reviewed studies since 1999 regarding health effects of using cannabis and cannabis-derived products related to various diseases including lung cancer.
In the section on lung cancer, the researchers looked at research and concluded: “There is moderate evidence of no statistical association between cannabis smoking and the incidence of lung cancer.”