Hillsborough parents applaud passage of 'Charlotte's Web' - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough parents applaud passage of 'Charlotte's Web'

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Moriah Barnhart and her 3-year-old daughter, Dahlia Moriah Barnhart and her 3-year-old daughter, Dahlia
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Some Bay area families are calling the legalization of a low-potency cannabis in Florida a small step, but they believe others need higher forms of treatment.

"I think that the governor putting a signature on this bill is a beautiful gesture to acknowledge that cannabis is medicine and while this is only the first step, it's a big one in the state of Florida," said Moriah Barnhart, whose 3-year-old daughter has been battling brain cancer.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law Monday that will start allowing patients with cancer and epilepsy in Florida to use a strain of low-potency marijuana called Charlotte's Web next year.

Scott has been a firm opponent of medical marijuana.

"What I care about is I want to make sure every family has the opportunity to get great healthcare but I want to make sure it's safe for our children," he told WFLA Monday.

The legislation passed with strong support in the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature after lawmakers heard stories of children suffering from seizures who could be helped by the strain known as Charlotte's Web.

Related: Florida Gov. signs bill to ok use of pot strain

"If this makes any parent feel like they have more rights in the care of their children, I'm all for it," Moriah Barnhart said. "But now I'm simply asking - what about the rest?"

Scott's decision to sign the bill comes at a time when there's a campaign underway for Amendment 2. It would allow medical marijuana to anyone with a "debilitating medical condition," including cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson's disease or any condition in which a physician believes the drug would outweigh any potential health risks.

Opponents worry it would allow virtually anyone to get access to marijuana but supporters say that isn't true. Scott and other Republicans are opposed to the measure.

But Moriah Barnhart believes what happened Monday signals a shift.

"The governor's signature really clarifies that this is not a partisan issue," she said. "This is not about politics. This is about human beings."

Copyright WFLA 2014. All rights reserved.
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