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Fla. House Committee To Hold Workshop On Medical Marijuana

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida may be the next state to jump on the medical marijuana bandwagon.

Florida's Republican-led Legislature has agreed to hear a bill, sponsored by state Representative Katie Edwards from Plantation, to allow medical distribution of the specialty strain, known as Charlotte's Web, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

The strain is high in cannabidiol, the ingredient that controls seizures, but is low in tetrahydrocannabinol which gives users a 'high'. It can be ingested in oil form or vaporized in a feeding tube.

This Thursday, January 9th, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will hold a workshop Thursday to hear from parents, growers in Colorado, and medical professionals about Charlotte's Web.

Edwards said her bill would authorize research and development of the marijuana strain at one of Florida's state universities and have it tightly regulated. She hopes the partisan politics over the constitutional amendment doesn't spoil the bill "because I think it's wrong to tell a family you can't have access to something you know could help your child," she told the paper.

If the bill passes, it is just one hurdle in the process.

The state Supreme Court has until April 1 to make a decision on whether the amendment will appear on the ballot.

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office is against the proposal because they say that allowing marijuana for medical reasons would go beyond what voters would be led to believe. They point to the ballot summary says medical marijuana would be used for debilitating diseases, but the full language of the amendment allows it to be used for debilitating conditions.

Another deadline that must be met occurs at the end of this month. The group pushing the measure, People United for Medical Marijuana, has to gather nearly 700,000 certified petition signatures by February 1st in order for it to appear on the ballot if it both passes in the legislatures and gets the high court's approval.

There are several locations across Miami-Dade and Broward where supporters can sign up.


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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)

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