|Florida Gov. Rick Scott.|
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he will give his approval to a House bill passed today that legalizes access to high-CBD cannabis for patients with severe seizure disorders as well as cancer and muscle spasms.
The bill will also allow up to five dispensary/grow operations to cultivate high-CBD for sale to patients who can eat it or vaporize it. Smoking marijuana would not be legal. The bill now has to be approved by the Senate by the end of today before the governor can sign it into law.
If approved, the state would be charged with creating a registry of patients and the recommendations from their doctors. Patients would have to sign a waiver agreeing that they understand the risks involved (Editor’s note: what risks?).
Despite what seems like a no-brainer situation for a state, lawmakers still battled with whether or not to allow high-CBD oils that have virtually no ability to cause impairment or get anyone high. As state Rep. Ray Pilon of Sarasota, a former cop, told his fellow lawmakers: “Are we really doing to harm these children? I don’t think so. Do we have a great possibility of saving their lives? Absolutely.”
And of course, those who did vote against it tried to soften the blow knowing that they are holding on to the last frail threads of a failed war on drugs and the lies about cannabis. Rep. Dennis Baxley, a Republican from Ocala, said he couldn’t have the toll of an “avalanche” of marijuana legalization on his hands but agreed it was probably the right thing to do for children. Nevertheless, he voted against it.
“This could be the rifle shot that creates a massive avalanche,” he said. “I pray it’s not. I pray it hits the target, meets this need and shows people the right way. I simply can’t pull the trigger.”
The bill has already had initial approval from the state Senate, though due to the amendments by the state House it must be sent back for another vote and any necessary changes.
According to the Miami Herald, more than 125,000 people in Florida battle with chronic epilepsy.