Medical Marijuana: Rick Scott Signs Charlotte's Web Bill Into Law

In a historical moment for the medical marijuana movement, Rick Scott signed the Charlotte's Web bill into law on Monday.

Back in April, the Senate approved the bill by a 36-3 vote, and Scott said he would sign it into law as soon as it hit his desk.

Charlotte's Web, which is used to help children with epilepsy, has very low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in it -- which is the stuff that gets you high when you smoke weed.

Charlotte's Web contains 0.5 percent THC.

See also: Legislature Holds Hearing on Charlotte's Web, Medical Marijuana With No High

"As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer," Scott said in a news release statement on Monday. "The approval of Charlotte's Web will ensure that children in Florida who suffer from seizures and other debilitating illnesses will have the medication needed to improve their quality of life."

The 2013 CNN documentary Weed showcased Charlotte Figi, a 5-year-old girl whose epileptic seizures were radically reduced after she was given her first dose of medical marijuana by her parents. The Charlotte's Web strain is named after her.

It should also be noted that Charlotte's Web isn't smoked but, rather, converted into an oil for children to use. It also must be prescribed by a doctor.

Although the Charlotte's Web measure is separate from the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana on the ballot in November, it's still, of course, medical. It's even been backed by the biggest medical marijuana opponents, the Florida Sheriffs Association.

House Criminal Justice Chairman Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach originally filed to have the measure passed back in February.

Gaetz, a Republican, and Broward Rep. Katie Edwards, a Democrat, had been pushing for the measure since that time.

The Charlotte's Web bill was sponsored by Sens. Aaron Bean of Jacksonville, Rob Bradley of Orange Park, and Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg.

"We applaud Governor Scott's signing of this bill," said Ben Pollara, campaign manager at United for Care, via a release. "He is joining the ranks of the millions of Floridians who agree on one indisputable fact: marijuana is medicine."

Added Pollara, "Today is an important day for our cause, but while tens of thousands of Floridians are one step closer to a healthier life, many times that number can draw nothing but hope from this move."

While Scott signed the bill into law and came through for Florida's children, he's still very much against the legalization of medical marijuana across the board.

Although he did say he'll respect the decision of the people should the initiative get the votes.

Voters will decide if medical marijuana will be legalized in Florida come November, when they'll have a chance to vote for or against Amendment 2.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph