Florida’s government has recently legalized a sophisticated brand of medical marijuana to give to children with epilepsy in order to help control their seizures. Doctors say the marijuana could aid thousands of children who suffer from the disease.
Florida’s House panel voted for the medical marijuana after spending two hours listening to parents, medical professionals, and supporters explaining why the non-euphoric cannabis has already proven to be effective in other states such as Colorado.
Doctors testified that children with epilepsy undergo extremely painful and sometimes fatal seizures. The use of the no-high mixture of medical marijuana with epileptic children, known as “Charlotte’s Web,” has shown impressive progress in other regions and Florida is hoping to see the same positive results.
Republican state representative Cary Pigman, who is also an emergency room physician, said that there is definite evidence of benefits and no evidence of any negative side effects from the medical marijuana.
The specialty cannabis contains higher doses of non-euphoric cannabidiol (CBD) and lower doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is what causes the “happy high” when smoking. This new version of medical marijuana is only given orally as an oil. According to Van Zant’s amendment, cannabis would be legal if it includes 0.8 percent or less of THC and more than 10 percent of CBD.
Florida representatives Katie Edwards and Matt Gaetz compared the cannabis treatment to Flintstone vitamins and said passing the bill was a no-brainer solution for people who had previously tried numerous other treatments without successful results.
Eleven-year-old Ray Ann Moseley, who experiences excruciating seizures on a daily basis, had exhausted all other conventional medical options, save for doctors splitting her brain in half. Ray Ann and her parents traveled to Colorado to study the Charlotte’s Web consumers, and were pleasantly surprised to see children who could walk, talk, and carry on a normal life after starting the marijuana treatment.
After Florida legalized the medical marijuana to give to children, the Moseley family have been avid advocates of the medicine because of its astonishing positive outcome with its patients. Holley Moseley, Ray Ann’s mother, graciously thanked the board for approving the topic and was relieved that her daughter would now be able to live a quality life.
Although Florida’s legislature approved the bill 11 to 1, several council members are concerned about how the drug will be regulated, administered, and produced. The specifics are still to be determined. The bill is said to have dispensaries positioned throughout the state of Florida in order to distribute the medication.
State delegate Dane Eagle initially decided to oppose the bill until he met the Hyman family. Their daughter, Rebecca, suffers from Dravet’s Syndrome, a rare and severe type of epilepsy that begins in infancy.
Eagle stated that the lawmakers need to put aside the politics and focus on assisting the families and children in serious need.
If considerable progress occurs in the epileptic patients who are treated with the drug, the state of Florida may become a gateway for other states to legalize marijuana to give to children.
By Amy Nelson