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Panel looks at medical marijuana for terminal patients

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Senate committee next week is slated to consider a proposal that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain medical marijuana to help cope with pain.

The Senate Health Policy Committee is scheduled next Tuesday to take up the proposal (SB 460), filed by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island.

The bill piggybacks on a law passed earlier this year that allows terminally ill patients to gain access to experimental drugs that have not been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

That law, dubbed the "Right to Try Act," is limited to patients who have terminal conditions and requires that they get approvals from two physicians.

The Senate panel will consider Bradley's bill as a political committee known as People United for Medical Marijuana seeks to get a broader medical-marijuana initiative on the November 2016 ballot.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, and Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, are sponsoring a House bill (HB 307) that is similar to Bradley's proposal.

Both measures are filed for the legislative session that starts in January.