North Carolina Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Advanced by Senate

Legislation to legalize medical marijuana has been filed and advanced in the North Carolina Senate.

Senate Bill 648 was filed yesterday by Senators Teresa Van Duyn (D) and Valerie Jean Foushee (D). Today, it was passed through its first reading and assigned to the Rules and Operations Committee.

If passed into law, the proposal would legalize medical marijuana for those who receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state. Patients would be allowed to possess up to 24 ounces of cannabis, and could grow the plant at home as long as there is “not more than 250 feet of total garden canopy of mature female cannabis plants, measured by the combined vegetative growth area, excluding any garden space devoted to cannabis plants that are not mature and female but which are cultivated for the purpose of maintaining the largest and most productive canopy of mature female cannabis plants allowed by this Article.”

The measure would establish a system of licensed dispensaries as a means of safe access to medical marijuana for patients. These outlets would be supplied by licensed cultivation centers.

Below are qualifying medical marijuana conditions under the proposed law:

Cancer, gliomas, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, porphyria, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, nail‑patella syndrome, fibromyalgia, severe migraines, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes mellitus, dystonia, gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, incontinence, injury or disease to the spinal cord, spinal column, or vertebra, methicillin‑resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), myelomalacia, osteoporosis, pruritus, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, Tourette’s syndrome, or the treatment of such conditions.b.

A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe pain; severe nausea; anorexia; seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS), or Crohn’s disease.c.

Any other serious medical or mental condition or its treatment approved by a physician or other practitioner authorized to prescribe or recommend a controlled substance classified in the schedules set forth in either the Controlled Substances Act (Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes) or the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, P.L. 91‑513, 84 Stat. 1236 (Oct. 27, 1970).

Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 648.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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