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Marijuana Alternative Gains in Senate

A proposal that would legalize a marijuana derivative known as Charlotte’s Web has gained additional support this week from leading Republican senators, The Palm Beach Post reports.  

The bill would make it legal for epilepsy patients to be prescribed the oil extract for seizure relief.

It has little THC, the marijuana chemical that produces a “high.”

Senate sponsors, all Republicans, are Rob Bradley from Fleming Island near Jacksonville, Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, and Aaron Bean of Fernandina Beach. A similar bill in the House is being sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Democrats have their own set of bills and also favor passage of an amendment on the ballot in November that would authorize medical marijuana prescriptions for a broader range of ailments.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi tried to block the measure from the ballot, but the Florida Supreme Court recently gave its okay.

Some political observers have theorized that the marijuana ballot initiative will bring out more Democrats and independents for the 2014 election, a key to former Gov. Charlie Crist's attempt to deny Gov. Rick Scott re-election. Crist, who was a Republican while in office, is now a Democrat.


Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.