The bill, S.B. 1030, is designed to help children who are suffering from epileptic seizures with nowhere else to turn. The Tampa Bay Times mentioned one such child, RayAnn Moseley, who suffers from intractable epilepsy due to a diagnosis cerebral palsy.
Surgery and prescription drugs have not improved her condition leaving her parents with two options for treatment: surgery that would disconnect the two hemispheres of her brain, or in RayAnn Moseley’s mother’s own words “try a natural product that’s working on children in Colorado.”
SB 1030 would impose tight regulations on the strain, determining that the THC level cannot be higher than 0.8 percent (average THC levels of most medical marijuana strains are about15 percent), must be prescribed by a doctor and it cannot be smoked. This means the cannabis would have to be infused into oil before use and taken orally.
Further, the bill only permits the use of the strain for children with epilepsy. Senator Rob Bradley, a co-sponsor of the bill, stated that the Senate does not support adding other illnesses to be covered in the bill, including Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and cancer patients.
While opposition to the bill was slim it seems to be focused on the federal government’s Schedule I classification of cannabis. Senator Thad Altman, one of the three who voted no, justified his choice by saying, “stick to science and vote no,” with the implication that first scientific research should be conducted to prove cannabis’ health benefits and then work to legalize it.
The bill now makes its way to the Florida House of Representatives. If the House decides to amend the bill it will once again need to return to the Senate for approval.
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