TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The federal government still classifies cannabis as a dangerous drug with no benefits, and as a result, there has been little research into why the drug seems to be medicinal or the long-term effects of its high. But one powerful state senator wants to change that.
Banned in the 30s, marijuana got a bad rap until use spread like wildfire in the 60s.
Pot remained a hot potato for Florida politicians for more than 50 years. Then, two years ago, two mothers — Holly Mosley and Page Figi — lobbied for the first low-TCH bill, telling lawmakers nothing else would help their seizure-ridden daughters.
One powerful state senator said we need to know a lot more. State Sen. Bill Galvano wants the state to pay for research.
“We are relying on anecdotal evidence,” Galvano said. “We have a dearth of research from the feds for a variety of reasons, and it’s important for us to understand both the benefits and potential hazards of this plant and drug as we go forward.”
Galvano would send money to Moffitt Cancer Center at USF. Other universities, such as Florida A&M, may get some cash.
Earlier this year, the last line of the legislation expanding the drug for use by terminally ill patients specifically allowed research in Florida universities.
“We have a product that has some medical relief that comes with it, so we’ll be looking at what are the actual features of the plant that may be more medicinally important for the pharmaceutical industry,” said Tim Moore, FAMU VP for research.