The court of appeals published an opinion yesterday concerning the automatic stay which normally goes into effect upon a losing party's request, so that an appeal maybe taken. The court ruled that section 381.986 F.S. (2017) of the medical marijuana amendment to Florida's Constitution is unconstitutional. The automatic stay was sought by the State so that the appeals court would have time to hear the State's argument against the ruling, without any change in the status quo.
However, there is a provision in the automatic stay rule which allows the lower court to vacate the stay upon showing by the Petitioner that their likelihood of success on appeal is likely, or that the automatic stay would cause irreparable harm.
The Petitioner's in the lower court sought to have the automatic stay vacated arguing their likelihood of success on appeal was very strong. The lower court agreed and vacated the stay, which in effect legalized the use of smokable marijuana for medical purposes in Florida.
The State appealed the lower court's ruling which vacated the automatic stay arguing the Petitioner failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success. The court of appeals agreed, ruling the lower court abused its discretion and quashed the automatic stay.
This issue only goes to the automatic stay. After hearing full arguments on the constitutionality of Florida's marijuana statute the court will make a ruling. Until then it is still illegal to smoke marijuana in Florida.