Florida’s bong ban prohibits the use of not only traditional bongs, but also ones made more innovatively. However, the ban will no longer apply to medical patients, as the medical cannabis amendment goes into effect on January 3rd. Meaning if you consume strictly medical pot, you’ll be free to do as many bong rips as you want, without repercussions.
Florida to drop bong ban for medical cannabis
Thanks to a recent approval of the constitutional amendment on medical cannabis, Florida’s bong ban will no longer apply to medicinal pot.
According to Ben Pollara, campaign manager of United Care, the amendment will indeed make bongs and other relating items legal for medical purposes. The group fought for the ballot initiative in 2014, but it failed. However, it is now passing this year with 71% of the vote.
In addition to bongs, state law also prohibits metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, plastic, stone, and ceramic pipes.
The amendment, however, is allowing them inside of medical treatment centers. As long as they go to qualifying patients or their caregivers, it is okay to sell and distribute relating supplies. Moreover, they must register with the state’s Department of Health.
The plain language of the amendment covers ‘related supplies’ and was written that way precisely because of poorly conceived pieces of public policy such as the law in question. – Pollara
In fact, lawmakers have also made changes to the bong ban to include even more inventive ways to consume cannabis. For example, 2-liter bottles. Moreover, balloons and duct tape are forbidden if used for paraphernalia.
Encouraging tobacco use
During State Senator Darryl Rouson’s time in House, he gave a thumbs-up to a bill that made the sale of all cannabis pipes a first-degree misdemeanor. Moreover, second and subsequent violations classifying as a third-degree felony.
In 2013, the legislature passed the bill; Gov. Rick Scott gave his signature, and it became law. However, Rouson even admits that the passing of the amendment would nullify the bong ban in relation to medical pot,
If legitimate medical users choose to use a banned device as a delivery system, then, yes, the amendment allows it.
In fact, Pollara even says the ban is rarely enforced and that practically every gas station and bodega in Miami sells bongs,
The irony here is that the effect of the law is basically to push more cancer causing tobacco on Floridians.
According to Pollara, to legally sell the items,
Businesses need the imprimatur of tobacco sales to justify their sale of ‘tobacco supplies,’ so you have all these head shops that probably otherwise wouldn’t be selling cigarettes that currently are doing so, so that they can sell all the related supplies.
On January 3rd, the medical cannabis amendment will be going into effect. Until then,
The Department of Health must set regulations for the issuance of identification cards, qualifications and standards of caregivers and registration of medical marijuana treatment centers within six months of the effective date.