North Carolina Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill

North Carolina Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill
MJ moment

The North Carolina Senate on Thursday gave initial approval to a bill to legalize medical marijuana. Just one day after clearing a key Senate committee that is chaired by the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bill Rabon (R), the legislation passed the full chamber on second reading in a 35-10 vote. The NC Compassionate Care Act previously advanced through three separate panels last year. “This bill is going to, in my opinion, help a lot of people at the end of their life at a time that they need some compassion,” Rabon said on the floor ahead of the vote. Medical cannabis can help people “at a time that what few days, or what little time they have left, should be as comfortable and as easy as they can be,” the senator, who is a cancer survivor, said. “I think it is our duty as lawmakers to pass legislation that helps people who need our help.” One more vote on third reading, expected next week, will be required to formally send the measure to the House of Representatives for consideration. Here’s what the NC Compassionate Care Act as amended would accomplish:  Patients would be allowed to access cannabis if they have a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder. The committee substitute adopted in in August by the Senate Judiciary Committee changed the list somewhat to allow patients with terminal illnesses and have six months to live, as well as those with conditions resulting in hospice care, to also qualify for cannabis. Patients could possess up to one and a half ounces of marijuana, but home cultivation would not be permitted. The definition of what constitutes a “cannabis-infused” product was also changed in the latest substitute version. Such products include “a tablet, a…

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