Florida’s marijuana milestone is coming

florida marijuana vote hbtv hemp beach tvDuring the debate over medical marijuana, state lawmakers heard wrenching testimony from the parents of 11-year-old RayAnn Moseley of Gulf Breeze, an epilepsy sufferer whose chronic seizures could be eased by the drug. After the Legislature voted, Holley Moseley said she was proud of her daughter.

“She’s changing Florida law,” Ms. Moseley said. “She’s making history here.”

History was made, all right. When the Legislature agreed last week to legalize a strictly low-potency strain of marijuana to treat epilepsy and cancer patients, Florida joined fewer than two dozen other states that have OK’d pot for medical uses.

The vote was 111-7 in the House and 30-9 in the Senate for companion bills that would:

Define medical marijuana as having 0.8 percent or less of THC, the substance that gives users a high. Most “recreational” marijuana is about 15 percent THC. The valued component in medical marijuana isn’t THC but CBD, or cannabidiol, which is said to reduce seizures.

Specify who could receive medical marijuana. Only doctors providing ongoing treatment of a patient could prescribe it, and only as a last resort. Eligible patients would be listed in a “compassionate use” registry. The state would not only maintain the registry but also “authorize a specified number of dispensing organizations.”

Basically, the state would control who cultivates marijuana for medical uses, how it is dispensed, who can prescribe it and who can benefit from it.

We’re already getting complaints from readers who believe state bureaucrats want to play doctor. For those with such concerns, there’s the medical marijuana initiative on the November ballot. It would change the Florida Constitution to allow “the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician.”

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