Sometimes, Tallahassee listens.
Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Monday legislation that legalizes "Charlotte's Web" to treat seizures, a testament to grass roots engagement and commonsense lawmaking. Under the steady presence during the legislative session by a handful of families with affected children, the Republican-led Legislature approved the sale and distribution of the noneuphoric strain of marijuana under tightly controlled circumstances.
With Scott's signature on SB 1030, the way is cleared for regulators to identify five dispensaries statewide that will be allowed to grow and develop marijuana that is low in tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, and for doctors to begin training to be authorized to prescribe it. Florida universities also have permission now to conduct research on low-THC marijuana.
All of this happened despite a growing partisan fight over a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would allow broader use of marijuana for medical conditions. The implementation of this narrower law could go a long way in informing how the state might regulate broader medical marijuana use for medical purposes.
But the best news is that a drug that shows promise to help as many as 125,000 children now will be allowed in Florida. As Scott aptly noted in a written statement: "As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer."