North Carolina Representative Kelly Alexander has introduced a bill that would legalize the use of medical marijuana by qualified patients.
Alexander has proposed similar legislation in the past, but believes that it truly has a chance of passing this year. He explained, “I think the climate in the state and the climate in the country has significantly changed.”
House Bill 84 would allow patients to possess up to 24 ounces of marijuana and grow their own medicine as long as their garden does not exceed “250 feet of total garden canopy”.
Qualifying conditions would include: Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS/HIV, Crohn’s, cancer, glaucoma, celiac disease, sleep apnea, and spinal injuries. The bill also leaves it open so that other illnesses may considered, as long as the patient’s doctor deems medical marijuana to be helpful for them.
Additionally, Alexander’s bill would create state regulated dispensaries where patients could purchase their medicine.
The way the bill is written, patients would be protected from prosecution if they were found to be in possession of medical marijuana. It would also require the University of North Carolina to conduct “objective scientific research” on the effectiveness and safety of medical marijuana.
Alexander knows that he must garner bi-partisan support for the bill to pass. He thinks that is more achievable than it had been in the past, stating, “We are beginning to get some new members in the legislature and with some of these folks, they have a more open mind and are willing to look at the evidence before they come to a conclusion.”
The North Carolina Cannabis Patients Network is fully supporting Alexander’s bill. Next week, over 600 NCCPN members have signed to speak up with their representatives about the bill.