RALEIGH, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Legalizing medical marijuana is one step closer to becoming a reality in North Carolina.
Senators in Raleigh passed a bill Tuesday, also known as the Compassionate Care Act, with a 36-10 vote allowing patients with certain medical conditions to access cannabis as a treatment option. It passed its third and final reading on Wednesday afternoon, and now the bill is off to the House, where a similar bill last spring was snuffed out but comments have been more favorable this time around.
You want to use medical marijuana? Here are the conditions and processes in North Carolina’s bill
Tuesday’s hearing started with a sponsor of the bill breaking down what the bill is meant and not meant to do.
It was made clear that if passed, the sale and use of recreational marijuana would remain illegal in N.C. The bill would change current N.C. laws to protect patients and doctors from civil penalties for medical purposes.
The General Assembly said medical research has found that cannabis effectively alleviates symptoms associated with several medical conditions, including cancer, Chron’s Disease, and PTSD.
Patients would need certification from a physician to get prescribed medical marijuana. The bill also limits the production and sale of medical cannabis to no more than ten suppliers in the state.
Opponents who spoke up during the meeting said that marijuana is not medicine and that the bill could easily be changed to legalize recreational marijuana.
This is not the Senate’s first vote on a medical marijuana bill. Last year, it passed a similar measure that did not make it to the House.