The proponents of a proposal to decriminalize a non-euphoric marijuana strain that helps kids with seizures are winning hearts, but not the support they need from Florida House leadership.
A key legislator, Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, fears the idea will get confused by voters who think it’s a sign lawmakers support a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for some medical use.
“I don’t want to be the first to start down a slope of approval on the use of illicit drugs under the claim of medical protection,’’ he said. “But I’m not saying I wouldn’t vote for something that would help these families.”
Baxley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wants a stand-alone bill that is not tucked into a criminal-justice package as its House sponsor, Rep. Matt Gaetz, has done. Baxley’s approach has the support of House Speaker Will Weatherford but is opposed by supporters of the bill, who say it will make it easier for naysayers to kill it.
The proposal supported by parents with children suffering seizures would allow a marijuana strain known as Charlotte’s Web to be legally developed in Florida.
“I think the supporters make a compelling case for the use of Charlotte’s Web to treat children with severe seizures. There is currently no member bill filed on the matter,” Weatherford said in a statement to the Herald/Times.
Meanwhile, the Florida Sheriff’s Association and the Florida Medical Association, which represents doctors, say they remain vigorously opposed to legalizing marijuana for medical use, but they acknowledge the value of strains high high in cannabidiol (CBD), the ingredient that controls seizures, but is low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that creates a high. More here.