Medical marijuana oil bills approved in North Carolina, Florida

Updated
A marijuana starter plant is for sale at a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, in this November 20, 2012 file photo.
A marijuana starter plant is for sale at a medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington, in this November 20, 2012 file photo.
REUTERS/Anthony Bolante

Medical marijuana was signed into law in one state while a state legislature approved a bill to legalize marijuana oil.

The State House in North Carolina approved a measure Thursday to legalize the extract as treatment for children with severe forms of epilepsy. The bill would not only allow the treatment, but would prohibit doctors throughout the state from being prosecuted for dispensing the medicine.

In addition, universities would be permitted to research the marijuana oil.

The bill could mean life-changing news for North Carolina families like the Carlins, whose five-year-old daughter Zora suffers from epilepsy. “The medicines that we are giving her right now are ripping her apart,” Stephen Carlin, Zora’s father, said before a House committee. “I’m asking you to please support this legislation. I am on my knees for thousands of kids.”

The measure passed by a vote of 111-2, and now moves to the state Senate.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill legalizing medical marijuana oil in the Sunshine State. Known as the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act,” the law will allow the use of medical marijuana to treat epilepsy, cancer, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. The bill also appropriates $1 million for research on medical marijuana.

“As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer,” the Republican governor said Monday. “I am proud to stand today with families who deserve the ability to provide their children with the best treatment possible.

Doctors in Florida can begin prescribing marijuana oil extract as of January 1, 2015.

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Medical marijuana oil bills approved in North Carolina, Florida

Updated