Florida Makes Steps to Legalize Strains High in Cannabidiol

By Suhas Ingly 02/19/2014

There is hope for children in Florida that have medical conditions that cause them to have frequent seizures. It was announced on Thursday, January 10th, that lawmakers will begin to take steps to get a bill filed that legalizes the use of medical marijuana strains that have a high content of cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound. One popular strain is called Charlotte's Web. This type of medical marijuana helps to stop or reduce the amount of seizures patients have without getting them high. It is very low in THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which in the compound that gets individuals high.

Parents from Tampa, Miami, Weston, Pensacola, and Colorado gave testimonies to the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. The parents brought forward evidence that proved medical marijuana with high levels of cannabidiol was effective at reducing seizures in children significantly. They also showed evidence about how there are no side effects associated with this type of medical marijuana and that it is not at all addictive. Some parents also confessed that they might consider leaving Florida is this strain does not becomes legalized in Florida.

At the end of the meeting, Representative Matt Gaetz announced that he would meet with Speaker Weatherford in an attempt to propose a bill that would legalize this type of marijuana. During the meeting, the parents of Charlotte Figi spoke about their daughter's serious condition. Charlotte has Dravet syndrome, which is an incurable form of epilepsy. At one point, Charlotte was having hundreds of seizures per week. Her development was delayed due to her condition. This family lives in Colorado.

After two years of being treated with Charlotte's Web, Charlotte is walking, talking, and learning how to ride a bike. As far as her seizures go, she now only has about one or two a month, instead of hundreds per week. Charlotte's parents told the committee that their daughter's quality of life has greatly improved since she began treatment with Charlotte's Web.

Many parents begged the committee to not wait a significantly long time to pass this law because they fear their children may not have that long without this treatment.

At this time, Colorado is the only state where Charlotte's Web is legal. Many parents in Florida are considering making the long move to Colorado so their children can be treated with this low potency marijuana. This strain of marijuana is not smoked. Instead, it comes as an oil that can be administered through a feeding tube or added to foods or beverages.

It is currently unclear what is going to happen with this strain of medical marijuana. Florida parents remain hopeful though because their passion and determination changed the mind of many representatives who were once so strongly against any form of medical marijuana.


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