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  1. Health

Joe Redner asks Florida Supreme Court: Let me grow marijuana now

Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner won his court fight to be allowed to grow his own medicinal marijuana plants. Now he's challenging a stay that prevents him from doing so while the state appeals that earlier ruling. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published May 15, 2018

Even though a circuit judge has ruled that Tampa strip club owner Joe Redner can grow and juice his own marijuana, he was barred from doing so until the appeals process is finished.

So Redner's lawyers filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday asking the court to lift the stay preventing him from doing so, arguing that the state is endangering the health of their client, a cancer patient.

Last month, Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers ruled that Redner can grow marijuana for medical purposes. The Florida Department of Health appealed the decision and blocked Redner from doing so immediately.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Judge: Joe Redner can legally grow his own marijuana

In a motion to the state's highest court, Redner attorneys Luke Lirot and Amanda L. Derby-Carter asked the justices to allow their client to grow his own marijuana immediately. Delaying Redner from doing so, they argued, is endangering his health.

"Because this matter deals not only with constitutional issues, but emergency medical issues as well, 'justice delayed' is 'medication delayed,' and (Redner's) health being unduly threatened," the motion said.

Redner's lawsuit challenges the state's interpretation of Amendment 2.

The Department of Health argued that Floridians are not allowed under state rules to grow cannabis for their personal use, even if they're legally registered medical marijuana patients. In April, the Leon County judge ruled that the department was not following the Florida Constitution.

While the ruling only allows Redner to grow his own supply, the state argued that allowing him to grow his own marijuana could open the door to more challenges over the amendment's language.

Contact Jonathan Capriel at 813-225-3141 or jcapriel@tampabay.com. Follow @jonathancapriel.

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