A few days after legislators in the District of Columbia voted in favor of decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, the House of Representatives of Florida approved on Wednesday the use of cannabis with medicinal purposes in the state.
According to a Thursday article by local newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, this is the first time Florida approves the use of medicinal marijuana, becoming another U.S. state to regulate and decriminalize, at least in some aspects, the use of cannabis in the population.
With a vote of 11 in favor and 1 against, the Committee of Criminal Justice of the House of Representatives of Florida approved proposal HB-843, promoted by Republican Matt Gaetz and Democrat Katie Edwards, which will allow research and development in a state university of a marijuana strain to be used with medicinal purposes.
The new strain will have a high content of cannabidiol (CBD), which controls epileptic attacks, and low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which creates the high felt by users.
According to the quoted source, polls from last year showed that a great majority of Florida residents see the use of marijuana with medicinal purposes as something positive.
Although it’s expected that a Constitutional amendment be voted on next November, which is not related to HB-843, the poll made by the Tampa Bay Times suggests that 65 to 70 percent of Florida voters support the idea, and it’s expected to pass despite complaints from Governor Rick Scott.
With almost 20 U.S. states approving the use of medicinal marijuana, Florida is about to become the first state in the southern U.S. to approve a law which allows the medicinal use of this drug.