Florida Passes ‘Charlotte’s Web’ Bill Allowing Limited Medical Marijuana Use

charlotte's web bill
Florida Passes ‘Charlotte’s Web’ Bill Allowing Limited Medical Marijuana Use
By: Kelly Woodard

Relief will soon be coming to ailing children in Florida thanks to Governor Rick Scott signing the ‘Charlotte’s Web’ bill on Monday. The bill will allow the limited use of a special strain of marijuana to treat epileptic seizures and other diseases.
Named for a Colorado girl whose epileptic seizures have shown some response to the drug, Charlotte's Web substance is not for smoking and is specially cultivated to be very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the element that gets users high.
Republican state Representative and supporter of the bill, Matt Gaetz, said, “Charlotte's Web is an oil extract placed under the tongue. Although it is made from marijuana, approving this bill is not a step toward marijuana legalization.”
Gov. Scott, who has be a strong advocate against the legalization of marijuana said of the decision to pass the bill, “As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer. I am proud to stand today with families who deserve the ability to provide their children with the best treatment available.”
The "Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act" will severely limit marijuana sales, keeping them well below those in Colorado and Washington State, where recreational marijuana has been legalized.
Under the new Florida law, the drug may be used by people suffering from epilepsy, cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Florida is estimated to have 125,000 epilepsy sufferers, a fact that one local family knows all too well.
Gulf Breeze resident, RayAnn Moseley, suffers daily with seizures so severe, they have become paralyzing. RayAnn’s father, Peyton Moseley, said, “We have been praying for this for a long time. Seeing your daughter suffer every day, knowing there is something out there that can help, is devastating. We are so thankful that she will be able to receive the medicine she needs to give her some relief.”
Thanks to the new bill, doctors will be allowed to prescribe low-THC marijuana treatment for state residents beginning January 1, 2015. The bill also appropriates $1 million for medical research in medical uses of marijuana.
Scott's decision to sign the bill comes while a campaign is underway to pass a state constitutional amendment that would allow medical marijuana to anyone with a "debilitating medical condition," including cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson's disease or any condition in which a physician believes the drug would outweigh any potential health risks.
Although the Charlotte's Web measure is separate from the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana on the ballot in November, it's still, of course, medical. It's even been backed by the biggest medical marijuana opponents, the Florida Sheriffs Association.
“We applaud Governor Scott's signing of this bill,” said Ben Pollara, campaign manager at United for Care, via a release. “He is joining the ranks of the millions of Floridians who agree on one indisputable fact: marijuana is medicine.”
Moseley agreed, adding, “The facts are there, and this is long overdue. This bill is going to allow our children to live a more normal life. We are so thankful and hopeful for, not only our own daughter’s future, but for all those who suffer.”