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Representative Gaetz supports bill to legalize medical marijuana "Charlotte's Web"
Two bills that would legalize some form of medical marijuana in the Sunshine State will now be making their ways through the state legislature.
Over the past few weeks we've introduced you to several parents that say a chemical found in marijuana could help their children.
Representative Matt Gaetz is sponsoring a bill that would pave the way to legalize that drug, known as "Charlotte's Web."
Laura Hussey "This is Matt Gaetz's office in Shalimar. He lives right down the road in Fort Walton Beach. On his Facebook page, Gaetz just doesn't describe himself as conservative, he says he's very conservative"
Matt Gaetz says his bill won't put a marijuana dispensary on every corner, but it could extend the lives of kids like Rayanne Moseley of Gulf Breeze.
She suffers hundreds of seizures a week, from a rare form of Epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.
Jeanette Baldwin/FWB "For children, if it is something that they did study and it didn't pose any more risks than the symptoms, then I would be for it."
The strain of marijuana called "Charlotte's Web" is named after a little girl in Colorado who used to have hundreds of seizures a week.
Growers estimate it's being used to treat almost two-hundred kids around the country.
Kara Westdahl "I don't agree with it, mainly because I strongly believe that marijuana is a gateway drug. It opens up all kinds of things because once you get one type of drug, you're going to want more."
Supporters say marijuana with the chemical makeup of Charlotte's Web probably wouldn't appeal to recreational users.
It has extremely low levels of the buzz-producing THC.
But it has has extremely high levels of a chemical called CBD that's what calms the seizures.
Jay Woodbury "Anything that can help someone who's in pain or ill, I'm for. I just believe it has to be very strictly controlled so it's not abused."
Charlotte's Web is not smoked.
An oil is extracted that can be administered through a feedng tube, or even sprinkled on food.
Laura Hussey "The bill filed by Representative Gaetz is completely separate from the state's medical marijuana amendment. that goes before voters in November."
If you have questions or comments about legalizing "Charlotte's Web" you have a couple of opportunities to talk with Representative Gaetz about it.
He's holding a Town Hall meeting on February 24th, from 5 - 6:30 pm., at the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce.
He'll also attend a Meet-and- Greet at Atlas Oyster Bar in Pensacola, February 26th at 5:30.