Top North Carolina GOP Senator Notes Strong Medical Marijuana Support As Reform Bills Are Filed

MJ moment

Public opinion is shifting in favor of marijuana reform, a top GOP North Carolina senator acknowledges, and that could open up opportunities for several recently introduced bills to advance this session. While advocates are doubtful that the conservative state will advance broad adult-use legalization measures being carried by Democrats this year, there is some optimism about the prospects of separate medical cannabis reform legislation that’s sponsored by the Republican chair of the Senate Rules Committee, for example. To that end, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R) recently acknowledged that the tides are shifting when it comes to marijuana in North Carolina, and he said that sponsor, Chairman Bill Rabon, “for a long time has looked at the issue.” “I do sense that public opinion is changing on marijuana—both medical and recreational,” Rabon said. “I don’t know where the members of the General Assembly are at this time in terms of support for the bill, but it’s something we’ll look at and we’ll see how things move along.” Will medicinal #marijuana be approved by #ncga this year? @SenatorBerger says he believes public attitudes toward #marijuana are changing in our state. And didn’t rule out the senate considering the proposal this year. See full interview tonight on @NCCapTonight . #ncpol pic.twitter.com/ARRU83nnBT — Loretta Boniti (@LorettaBoniti) April 13, 2021 A majority of North Carolina adults support legalizing marijuana for recreational use—and three in four say it should be legal for medical purposes—according to a poll released in February. Rabon’s bipartisan medical cannabis legalization bill could be the vehicle to advance that more modest reform. While it has not seen legislative action since being filed earlier this month, the legislation was referred to his committee and advocates see potential to advance. Patients would qualify for medical marijuana under the proposal if they have…

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