Politics

Katie Edwards: I Will See the Charlotte's Web Bill Through

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: January 28, 2014 3:55 AM
Katie Edwards

Katie Edwards

Rep. Katie Edwards said Monday she will continue working to get a bill through the Legislature that would legalize limited-potency medical cannabis in Florida -- in spite of the more sweeping state Supreme Court ruling earlier in the day that allowed a medical marijuana constitutional amendment on the November ballot.
 
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, confirmed he too will keep pushing for legislative approval for the light, non-euphoric strain of marijuana known as Charlotte's Web, a form of the weed that could save thousands of Florida children's lives.

The more specific Charlotte's Web bill is less controversial and provides insurance to parents whose special needs children suffer from severe epileptic attacks. Even if a minimum 60 percent of the voters say yes to the amendment in November -- and no legal challenges ensue -- the Legislature still has to untangle the details, for example how much marijuana a person could possess and how growers would be regulated. It would be six months after the election minimum before the new law would take effect.

Said Edwards, D-Plantation, "I made a commitment to Florida families to see this through. Remember, this all sprang from the inaction of the Legislature last year, when I had a bill and it went nowhere. Why would I want to make these families wait one session longer?

"Now," she said, "because the Florida Legislature sat on its hands, we have a constitutional amendment instead of a bill the Legislature can get involved in from the start.

"With Representative Gaetz and I, this is really a bipartisan effort. I've appreciated his support, and we're going to continue to blaze trails on this."

"The bottom line is, we need to allow researchers to have access to cannabis so that they can study the strains of CBD and develop safe and effective medications in a pill, topical or oil form," she said.

Legalization opponent Calvina Fay, executive director of the Florida group Save Our Society from Drugs, issued a statement after the Supreme Court approved the amendment ballot language. She condemned it, saying "it will allow anyone at any age and with any condition to get pot. ... It makes a mockery of our nation's approval process for determining safe and effective medications."

Peyton Moseley, whose 10-year-old daughter RayAnn has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and intractable epilepsy -- who traveled with his wife and family three weeks ago from Gulf Breeze to Colorado to see firsthand what the derivative of marijuana called cannabidiol can do for children like his daughter -- told Sunshine State News he's happy the amendment is on the ballot. But, "I think if the Legislature could see what we've just seen in Colorado -- an 85 percent reduction in seizures -- I think they would want to be proactive and step up to the plate for Florida's children now, not wait for the next election."
 
Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423.



Comments (13)

Roger Stone
12:58AM JAN 30TH 2014
Go Katie !
Brian Kelly
3:53PM JAN 28TH 2014
When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let's have the compassion to allow them to have it.

Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

Support Medical Marijuana Now!

"[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane." — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, "Federal Foolishness and Marijuana," editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

"[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications." — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

"[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate." — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

"Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision." — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

"The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses' Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine." — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

"[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use." — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, "Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis," 1995

"When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug." — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

"[The LFA] urges Congress and the President to enact legislation to reschedule marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe smokable marijuana to patients in need … [and] urges the US Public Health Service to allow limited access to medicinal marijuana by promptly reopening the Investigational New Drug compassionate access program to new applicants." — Lymphoma Foundation of America, January 20, 1997
Brian Kelly
3:53PM JAN 28TH 2014
When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let's have the compassion to allow them to have it.

Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

Support Medical Marijuana Now!

"[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane." — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, "Federal Foolishness and Marijuana," editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

"[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications." — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

"[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate." — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

"Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision." — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

"The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses' Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine." — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

"[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use." — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, "Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis," 1995

"When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug." — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

"[The LFA] urges Congress and the President to enact legislation to reschedule marijuana to allow doctors to prescribe smokable marijuana to patients in need … [and] urges the US Public Health Service to allow limited access to medicinal marijuana by promptly reopening the Investigational New Drug compassionate access program to new applicants." — Lymphoma Foundation of America, January 20, 1997
James
12:55PM JAN 28TH 2014
If you are looking for Cannabidiol (CBD) you can purchase it online at: Bayshore Botanicals Its legal to purchase and consume in all 50 States because it is derived from hemp which is high in CBD and contains no THC.
Also take a look at their Facebook page it's a great resource for news and information on CBD.
bob
11:27PM JAN 29TH 2014
James do you have any personal knowledge that these products work identically (or even close) to cannabis-based treatments? Everything I have read so far says its a good story, but they are not effective.
Rob
11:21AM JAN 28TH 2014
Bottom line, it is medicinal. It's time to remove cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
Dean
9:27AM JAN 28TH 2014
This is a knee jerk political reaction to the medical marijuana admendment, which I support, and collected signatures for. How do they plan to legally get the seeds here from Colorado
bob
11:04PM JAN 29TH 2014
There is no plan. Because there are no seeds. Charlottes Web is a proprietary strain that actually all come from cloning a single plant that was a breeding mistake. The only way to get that specific strain is to take a cutting from another plant. So passing this law is similar to passing a law that the only aspirin you can take must be bought from Bayer. Granting a state monopoly to a company that does not want it and did not ask for it. I am sure not even consulted about it.
Cajima
11:32PM JAN 31ST 2014
Bob - are you talking about the family that 'discovered' Charlotte's web? The Stanley brothers were consulted about this. And one of the brothers was at the subcommittee last week.
Franc
8:11AM JAN 28TH 2014
I plan to vote for this. Hate to say this but I agree with Obama on this one. This stuff is no more dangerous than Alcohol and certainly not any more dangerous than cigarettes.

If it helps people, why not permit it?
bob
11:16PM JAN 29TH 2014
"With Obama?" Obama has kept the war on patients intact, and even accelerated it. He could reclassify Cannabis out of Category 1 with a one sentence letter, needing not even an executive order. He has not done so in five years and is not promising to do it now. HE is the biggest obstacle to this change on the entire planet. And you are saying you are with him on that ?
Mark
6:41AM JAN 28TH 2014
Funny how all these "Legislators" are clammering all over themselves in an attempt to protect their turff in controlling which laws will be approved while also attempting to keep the voters from taking their own actions! Why won't the Florida Legislature and Governor's office allow people to vote on this issue? Meanwhile, medical marijuana companies from Arizona and other states are already gearing up to expand their businesses into the state.
Medical marijuana is NOT the kind gotten on the street. It's a refined, and gentle type which allows the user to chase away the discomfort of their medical problems. It's non addictive, unlike actual pain medication, yet gives the patient some rest from the day to day issues of pain. Why can't our legislature understand this?
bob
11:11PM JAN 29TH 2014
Florida legislators want a tightly controlled system because that means big companies, and big money means big bribes/political donations. The only medical marijuana systems that are working allow patients to grow their own medicine, and anything less than that is not acceptable. Let's assume for a minute that Rick Simpson Oil really does cure cancer. In many MMJ states you can't even get it. If you could, it can cost up to $30,000 per patient for treatment. In states that allow patients to grow their own meds, it could cost a couple of hundred dollars to have your plant material processed for you via several different technologies. One option costs a lot of money to patients, the other costs a lot of money to big Pharma and Big Healthcare companies.

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