Floridians will vote on a more widespread medical marijuana policy in November, but the Florida legislature has taken the first step. The state Senate passed a bill that would allow some patients to use a low THC and highly regulated strain of marijuana. The bill had already passed in the House and is now headed to Governor Rick Scott. Scott has signaled that he will indeed sign the bill.
Once passed, doctors could prescribe a type of marijuana known as "Charlotte's Web." It only has 0.8 percent THC. Regular pot has about 15 percent. Thus, the strain does not make users high. Users are also not allowed to smoke the pot, but rather the marijuana is turned into an oil.
Only doctors who are providing ongoing care to patients can prescribe the oil, and only after other methods were shown to be ineffective. The law would only allow four dispensaries throughout the state, and a database of patients would be kept. Both patents and doctors could face misdemeanor charges for trying to cheat the system.
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The bill took off after parents of children who suffer from serious seizures lobbied legislators.
Though, the bill may became moot if Floridians vote to legalize a more widespread use of medical marijuana like what's seen currently in 21 other states. That amendment will be decided in November.
"Although this is a significant step forward for our cause, the only complete and permanent solution for all those Floridians who need cannabis to relieve their symptoms from a wide range of debilitating conditions will be the approval of Amendment 2 by voters in November," said medical marijuana group United For Care in a statement.
The amendment would need 60 percent approval from voters to pass.