TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) – Florida legislators voted on Friday to allow doctors to prescribe a special strain of “non-euphoric” marijuana for treatment of chronic epileptic seizures and some other severe illnesses.
Governor Rick Scott said he will sign the bill into law when it reaches his desk.
“They definitely made a difference in many people’s lives today. It was historic,” said Ron Watson, a lobbyist whose 8-year-old son, Dylan, died of leukemia.
Watson and several other parents, many wheeling their stricken children into the Capitol, testified at committee hearings and contacted House and Senate members throughout this year’s 60-day session of the Florida Legislature.
The parents advocated strictly controlled legalization of a special form of marijuana known as “Charlotte’s Web,” named for a Colorado girl whose epileptic seizures have shown some response to the drug.
The substance is not for smoking. It is specially cultivated to be very low in tetrhydrocannabinol (THC), the element that gets users high, and also very low in cannabidiol (CBD), which eases seizures in the brain.
“I’m a parent and a grandparent,” Scott told reporters on Thursday. “I want to make sure my children, my grandchildren, have the access to the health care they want.”
The Senate voted 30-9 to send the bill to Scott on Friday.
That vote, and the 111-7 House passage a day earlier, marked a rare example of strong bipartisanship in the Republican-dominated Legislature.