North Carolina Lawmakers Advance Medical Cannabis Bill

North Carolina Lawmakers Advance Medical Cannabis Bill
High Times

North Carolina took another step toward finally legalizing medical cannabis on Thursday, with members of the state Senate overwhelmingly passing a bill that would authorize the treatment for a host of ailments and conditions. The measure passed the chamber on a vote of 35-10, according to the News & Observer newspaper. It now heads to the state House of Representatives. Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. The state’s governor, Roy Cooper, is a Democrat. The bill, officially known as the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act, would authorize medical cannabis for individuals with the following qualifying conditions: Cancer; Epilepsy; Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Crohn’s disease; Sickle cell anemia; Parkinson’s disease; Post-traumatic stress disorder, subject to evidence that an applicant experienced one or more traumatic events; Multiple sclerosis; Cachexia or wasting syndrome; Severe or persistent nausea in a person who is not pregnant that is related to end-of-life or hospice care, or who is bedridden or homebound because of a condition; a terminal illness when the patient’s remaining life expectancy is less than six months; or a condition resulting in the individual receiving hospice care. Per the News & Observer, “Democrats have asked for even broader legalization, putting forward a number of suggestions ranging from adding additional ailments to the list of covered medical conditions, to passing more sweeping laws, like decriminalization or even full recreational legalization of cannabis,” but “Republicans shot those proposals down.” Eight of the 10 votes against the bill were Republicans, according to the News & Observer, among them state Sen. Jim Burgin, who “invoked some of the previous fights against tobacco—which remains one of North Carolina’s biggest crops, including in Burgin’s district—and implied that the bill was hypocritical because of that.”…

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