(Corrects paragraph four to Washington state instead of
By Letitia Stein
TAMPA, Fla., June 16 Florida Governor Rick Scott
signed a law on Monday allowing for the limited use of a special
strain of marijuana to treat epileptic seizures and other
State lawmakers passed the measure this spring with
bipartisan support after impassioned appeals from parents
seeking access to the form of marijuana known as "Charlotte's
Web," named for a Colorado girl whose epileptic seizures have
shown some response to the drug.
"As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids
suffer," Scott, a Republican, said in a statement. "I am proud
to stand today with families who deserve the ability to provide
their children with the best treatment available."
The new law will severely limit marijuana sales, keeping
them well below those in Colorado and Washington state, where
recreational marijuana has been legalized.
The Florida law allows use of the drug for people suffering
from epilepsy, cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),
known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
The Charlotte's Web substance is not for smoking and is
specially cultivated to be very low in tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC), the element that gets users high.
Experts say it is of only limited medical use and will not
help in the treatment of patients with cancer or ALS, or
veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The law is not related to a more expansive medical marijuana
referendum up for vote in November, with polls showing
Twenty states and the District of Columbia have some form of
laws that permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes,
though they vary widely, according to a Florida legislative
(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Eric
Beech and Jim Loney)