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Lawmakers Look At Medical Marijuana Bill

Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Senate panel this week will take up a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana, as lawmakers continue to grapple with whether to go beyond a 2014 law that approved a limited form of cannabis.

The Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee is scheduled Thursday to take up the bill (SB 460), sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, that would allow marijuana for patients with terminal conditions.

A similar House bill (HB 307), sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, has been approved by one House panel and is pending in the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

The bills come as the state continues trying to move forward with a 2014 law that allows types of non-euphoric cannabis for certain patients.

The law was pushed by parents of children who have severe forms of epilepsy, but the limited cannabis has not been made available to patients because of legal and regulatory snags. The proposals for terminally ill patients are filed for the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.

Also looming is a proposed constitutional amendment that would make medical marijuana available to a broader range of patients. That amendment could go on the November 2016 ballot.