A Look at the Charlotte’s Web Medical Marijuana Bill

For the first time in Florida legislature history, a medical marijuana legalization effort has cleared the House panel. The Charlotte’s Web bill, named after a child in Colorado who benefitted from this type of non-euphoric marijuana, was passed by the house with bipartisan backing.

Unlike other strains of marijuana, the Charlotte’s Web strain is low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the ingredient in marijuana that produces a feeling of euphoria, or a high. The strain is currently being used to treat children who have painful and even lethal seizures due to degenerative epilepsy, and the results of the treatment have been dramatic turnarounds for the patients receiving it. Because children cannot get high from this strain of marijuana, it has received a great deal of support from lawmakers.

The Charlotte’s Web strain of medical marijuana is different in more ways than just a lower level of THC. It is also higher in cannabidiol, which provides medicinal benefit. It is also not smoked, like many forms of medical marijuana, but is instead delivered via an oil extract whose drops are placed beneath the tongue of the patient. The bill was sponsored by three Republican senators, Rob Bradley, Jeff Brandes, and Aaron Bean. The House companion bill was also approved by the House Judiciary Committee and was amended so that any doctor caught fraudulently prescribing Charlotte’s Web would face both fines and jail time.

The Effects of Charlotte’s Web

For many parent’s, Charlotte’s Web looks like a dream come true. In Colorado, children who were given almost no hope of ever recovering from their debilitating seizures are learning how to walk and talk and how to tell their parents that they love them while children in Florida are being given last resort options, such as surgery to split the brain in half.

For many parents, the benefits of Charlotte’s Web are simply too great to ignore. Parents across the state are pleading with lawmakers to pass the bill so that their children may receive treatment using the drug. It hasn’t been an easy road, however, and lawmakers are still wrestling with things such as how the drug will be regulated, how it will be produced, and by whom and how it will be administered. There may still be some time before parents are able to get the solution that they are hoping for to help their children.

November May Bring Big Changes

Even while the fate of Charlotte’s Web comes closer and closer to having an answer, there is another looming question in the medical marijuana community. Will traditional medical marijuana become legal? If so, the question of Charlotte’s Web may become moot if the strain is added to those that are legalized. Voters will go to the polls this November to decide the fate of medical marijuana, and the bill is mobilizing young people in surprising ways. The Charlotte’s Web bill may be nearing a decision, and it is the hope of many around the state that it will pass, affording these patients the safe, effective care that they deserve.

 

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