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One News Now

Urgent: Medical Marijuana Legislation Introduced with Large Rally of Support Planned for Tuesday

Contact your lawmaker right away. He/She is already hearing from the other side
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
February 8, 2013

MedicinalMarijuanaDays in advance of a planned pro-pot rally in Raleigh, Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg) has introduced a bill that would make marijuana use and cultivation legal for anyone with a “debilitating condition” and a doctor’s recommendation.

The North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act, filed as House Bill 84, would allow patients with medical conditions ranging from migraines to AIDS, hypertension to severe pain, nausea or dozens of other problems to have a three-month supply of the psychoactive drug, which is still prohibited by state and federal law. It would also permit the patients and up to two designated caregivers to grow cannabis plots with 250 square feet of canopy of mature female plants plus seedlings to keep the crops ongoing.

Alexander believes medicinal pot would reap monetary benefits for North Carolina. His 18-page bill projects an estimated $250 million in annual revenue for the state within four years as it would require medical cannabis centers, producers of  cannabis, and makers of cannabis-infused products to pay $5,000 annual licensing fees and turn over 10 percent of gross revenues. Anyone 21 and older who has lived in North Carolina for at least two years and hasn’t had a felony conviction in the last five years or a conviction of a drug-related felony would qualify to become a licensed producer or operate a cannabis center.

Alexander, who is joined on the bill by fellow Democrats Pricey Harrison and Marcus Brandon, both of Guilford County, told the media that many “seriously and chronically ill persons, including many disabled veterans, get relief from their suffering from marijuana” and that lawmakers should show compassion.

But the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said unleashing a drug still classified as a Schedule I substance because of its dangers and promoting it as medicine is anything but compassionate.

He said there are cannabis-based medicines that are FDA approved, but that no reliable studies have concluded that marijuana is a safe and effective drug.

“What has been proven is that once marijuana is welcomed as medicine, its use becomes more widespread, even among many of the hearty and hale and especially among youth,” said Dr. Creech. “It impairs judgment, affects short-term memory and can lead to addiction. We have enough problems with alcohol and drug abuse in North Carolina already without setting up marijuana as a cure for illness or a boon to the state budget.”

While he admitted that some folks use marijuana to address legitimate ailments, he warned that many who want full-blown legalization of the drug use medical marijuana as a starting point to get there.

The North Carolina Cannabis Patients Network expects some 2,000 marijuana fans to converge on the capital on Tuesday to rally for the Medical Cannabis Act.

“We know the crowd will be large and they’ll be making their voices heard, which is why we need to do the same via e-mails and phone calls,” said Dr. Creech.

To read a copy of the bill, click here

“Then take a moment to contact your lawmaker and ask them not to legalize marijuana, even when it’s purported to be for medicinal purposes,” he added. “This is not a good idea, to say the least.”

Take Christian Action:  Click here to send a pre-prepared email to your lawmaker, asking him or her not to facilitate or approve legislation for the medicinal use of marijuana in the Tar Heel state. Please take the time to do this. It will only take a minute or two. Let them hear from you because they will definitely be hearing from the other side.