North Carolina Senate Approves Medical Pot Bill
The North Carolina Senate this week approved a bill to legalize marijuana, bringing the measure one step away from heading to the state House of Representatives for consideration. The bill, titled the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act (Senate Bill 3), passed handily with little debate in the state Senate on Tuesday by a vote of 36-10. The bipartisan bill was introduced on January 25 by Republican Senators Bill Rabon and Michael Lee and Democratic Senator Paul Lowe. “The purpose of the bill is to allow for tightly regulated use of medical cannabis, only by those with debilitating illnesses,” Rabon said on the Senate floor before Tuesday’s vote. “The recreational sale or use of marijuana remains, under this legislation, illegal,” he added. If signed into law, the bill would legalize the medicinal use of cannabis for patients with one or more specified qualifying serious medical conditions such as cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and others. Unlike the more comprehensive medical marijuana programs in many other states, however, the bill does not legalize the use of medical marijuana by patients diagnosed with chronic pain. Before the bill was approved last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, the sponsors of the bill emphasized that the measure does not legalize recreational marijuana. Instead, the intent of the legislation “is to only make changes to existing state law that are necessary to protect patients and their doctors from criminal and civil penalties and would not intend to change current civil and criminal laws for the use of non-medical marijuana,” Rabon told reporters on February 21. Under the bill, patients with a qualifying “debilitating medical condition” would be allowed to use medical marijuana. The bill permits the smoking and vaping of medical cannabis by patients whose doctors have recommended a…
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Source : North Carolina Senate Approves Medical Pot Bill
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