Early this week State Senator Jeff Brandes from St. Pete filed a broad medical marijuana bill that would legalize the drug for medical use for patients with a bunch of different ailments. Those include things like ALS, AIDS and HIV, seizures, cancer and more broad areas like chronic pain. The move may have shocked some people. That’s because Brandes is a Republican. He and many in his party lobbied hard against a medical marijuana amendment that would have similarly allowed the medical use of cannabis. 58% of voters approved that amendment, but it still failed. The measure required 60% to pass.
Last year the Florida legislature approved and the governor signed a medical marijuana bill allowing the prescription and use of what’s known as Charlotte’s web. That’s a strain of marijuana low in THC – the chemical component in the drug that gets users high – and high in CBD, the therapeutic component. That strain would then be cultivated into an oil and taken orally – not smoked. The measure passed, but it’s tied up in regulatory red tape as a committee struggles to agree on rules to implement the law.
So, now we have this. To weigh in on it, we hear from Brandes and United for Care director Ben Pollara.