House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday that a bill to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina is likely to be defeated in 2023.
Moore supports the bipartisan bill, but said the bill, which passed the North Carolina Senate in March, did not have enough support from the Republican House majority. House Republican lawmakers rule that a bill put on the floor for a vote already has a majority, even if the Democrats support it, even if the majority of Republicans disagree. Must have the support of legislators.
To follow the Republican caucus’ rules, “many members of the House who have traditionally taken a ‘no’ position would have to literally change their stance and vote yes, but I don’t think that will happen. ” Moore saidaccording to an Associated Press report.
After discussing the bill with members of the Republican caucus, Moore said he agreed with recent public comments from House Majority Leader John Bell, who said the bill didn’t have enough support to advance this session. rice field.
Bell told Spectrum News on Tuesday that the legalization issue will likely be addressed in next year’s parliamentary session, which will likely begin in May.
“Both sides have passion” bell said. “There are members in our caucuses who are 100% in favor of it, and there are others who are 100% against it.”
But the bill’s supporters aren’t going to give up. Democratic Sen. Paul Lowe, another lead proponent of a bill to legalize medical marijuana, said: Said Raleigh news and observers “Never” means the bill is “dead.”
Lowe said talks with the Speaker of the House and other Republican leadership members were “ongoing” and “feeling pretty good.”
“I think there are some caucus members who are re-evaluating and looking at things. They will come back,” he said, without naming specific lawmakers. Revealing their names “would undermine what I was trying to do,” he said.
“If we can’t solve it in the long session, we’ll deal with it in the short session,” he said next year. “I’m pretty confident about that.”
Bill Legalizes MMJ for Qualifying Patients
This action is part of the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act (Senate Bill 3) was filed in January under the auspices of Republican Senators Bill Lavon, Senator Michael Lee, and Democratic colleague Senator Lowe. If passed, the bill would allow the medical use of cannabis for patients with one or more specific serious medical conditions, including cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder. will be legalized. But unlike many other states’ more comprehensive medical marijuana programs, the bill does not allow medical marijuana use by patients living with chronic pain.
The bill’s proponents point out that the bill would not legalize recreational cannabis. Instead, the bill’s purpose is “only to make changes to existing state laws necessary to protect patients and their physicians from criminal and civil penalties, and to change existing civil and criminal statutes regarding nonmedical marijuana use.” I’m not going to Lavon told reporters. The bill was considered in the Senate earlier this year.
Under the bill, patients with eligible “debilitating medical conditions” would be allowed access to medical cannabis. The bill would allow smoking and vaping of medical cannabis by patients whose physicians have recommended certain forms and doses of medical cannabis. Physicians must annually review a patient’s continued eligibility for a medical cannabis program.
To participate in the program, patients must obtain a state medical cannabis identification card. State Departments of Health and Human Services would be tasked with creating “a secure and confidential electronic database containing information about eligible patients, designated caregivers and physicians,” according to the text of the bill.
Senate passes bill in March
The bill passed the North Carolina Senate by a bipartisan majority on March 1 and sent to the state House of Representatives. The bill was put to a public hearing in the House Health Committee in May, but the bill has not seen any action on the floor since.
Late last month, Mr. Lavon tried to force execution of an unrelated bill backed by House Republicans by attaching an amendment that would delay passage of the bill until the medical marijuana bill was approved. The Senate approved the amendments and sent the largely technical bill back to the House, where it awaits further action.
State Senator Julie Mayfield, one of seven Democratic senators proposing a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adults, said the medical marijuana bill should be allowed to vote in the House. Said he was thinking.
“The time for North Carolina to legalize the medical use of cannabis is long past.” mayfield said said in a statement to local media. “It has helped so many people in the past, but the time has come to allow those who need it to acquire it and use it with dignity and without fear. , this bill will pass with the overwhelming support of the Democrats.It’s time to make democracy work.”