Lawmakers are exploring whether Florida should legalize low-potency medical marijuana.
The Florida Legislature knows public support is on the rise, and some lawmakers believe legalizing the drug for medicinal reasons is inevitable. And now a new drive is currently underway to make marijuana penalty-free for people who suffer from life-threatening seizures.
Dravet Syndrome is a condition that causes hundreds of seizures every day. It's a condition that can be controlled with low-potency medical marijuana, which is what brings Seth Hyman to Tallahassee.
Hyman said a type of marijuana known as "Charlotte's Web" could be a life-saver for his daughter, Becca, and he wants it legalized.
"If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it's a duck," he said. "So, here we hear marijuana, we hear cannabis - 'oh, that's the stuff that gets everyone high, they're going to buy it on the street.' We're not talking about that."
Hyman is talking about CBD, the chemical in marijuana that suppresses electrical activity in the brain. With Charlotte's Web, it's been maximized, while the chemical that makes people high - THC - has been virtually eliminated.
The strain of marijuana was named for Paige Figi's daughter, Charlotte.
"She's 99 percent, almost 100 percent seizure-free," Figi said. "She has about one or two seizures per month now, from 1,200."
In a legislature controlled by conservative Republicans, any attempt to legalize pot has always ended almost as quickly as it has begun, with critics calling marijuana a "gateway drug." But now, as public opinion changes, so do opinions here in the Capitol.
If a key House committee meeting on Thursday is any indication, the drive to legalize low-potency pot has bipartisan support, even from Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights. Van Zant has made cracking down on drug abuse a top priority.
"I'll fight you to the ground over it, but this is important to the lives of Floridians, and we must do something," he said.
Still, not everyone is sold. They want more testing to make sure Charlotte's Web won't turn into a web of addiction.
But Hyman said time is critical for his daughter.
"We don't have a year," he said "We don't have six months. She may not be here."
Right now, medical marijuana is legal in Colorado and Washington. An Alaska citizens' group submitted 45,000 signatures to election officials this week in support of legalizing it there.