The North Carolina Legislature will once again host the debate on medical marijuana legalization as supporters hope the 2023 session will be better than last year.
Local news station WNCN reports “A bipartisan group in the state Senate is about to pass a bill to legalize medical marijuana again this year as new polls this week show popular support,” and on Wednesday the state Senate Judiciary Committee. The Board discussed the proposal, saying, “This is largely similar to the bill the House passed last year, but which the House has never considered.”
“There are very few families in this state or this country that have not been touched at some point by someone who would benefit from this bill,” said Republican Senator Bill Lavon, who sponsored the bill. Cited by WNCN.
invoice, Entitled “North Carolina’s Compassionate Care Act,” Make medical cannabis treatment available to patients with the following eligible conditions: epilepsy; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive status; Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AID); Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); Crohn’s Disease; Sickle Cell Anemia; Parkinson’s Disease; cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe or persistent nausea in nonpregnant individuals associated with terminal or hospice care, or bedridden or homebound due to conditions; Terminal illness less than a month old. [or] A condition that results in an individual receiving hospice care. ”
Patients who have “experienced one or more traumatic events” may also be eligible for treatment, according to the bill’s language.[a]Acceptable evidence includes proof of military service in an area of active conflict, proof that the person was the victim of a violent or sexual crime, or that the person was a first responder but not limited to: ”
The bill says trauma details are “not requested.”
Republicans hold the majority in both the state’s Senate and House of Representatives. A nearly identical medical marijuana legalization bill passed the state Senate last year, but ultimately failed to advance from the state legislature.
North Carolina is one of the few states where medical and recreational cannabis is still illegal.
Roy Cooper, the state’s Democratic Governor, has expressed support for both.
Cooper said in October, after President Joe Biden’s decision to pardon individuals federally convicted of simple possession of marijuana, “Simple possession convictions hurt people’s lifetime records. , which could possibly prevent them from getting a job.”
In his announcement at the time, Biden urged “all governors to do the same on state crime.”
“As I often said during my presidential campaign, marijuana use or possession alone should not put you in jail. We have claimed too many lives and imprisoned people for unintentional acts, and our criminal record for marijuana possession also imposes unnecessary barriers to employment, housing and educational opportunities. While browns use marijuana in similar proportions, blacks and browns are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted and convicted,” Biden said in a statement at the time. .
Cooper spoke for the president’s feelings.
“North Carolina should take steps to end this stigma,” Cooper said.
Tar Heel voters have reason to believe their legislators are ready to take action.
As WNCN pointed out, “In a poll this week by Meredith University, 73% of voters supported medical marijuana legalization, 15% opposed, and 12% were unsure.”