Rob Schofield | Modest medical marijuana bill comes up shortPosted by On



State senators took a small, but positive step last week when they advanced Senate Bill 711 – a proposal to legalize medical cannabis/marijuana. As numerous witnesses – including military veterans struggling with PTSD and other service-related illnesses, as well as others battling the ravages of cancer and chemotherapy – made clear in often emotional testimony during a pair of public hearings, it’s absurd that suffering North Carolinians are denied an effective therapy that’s legal in the overwhelming majority of states.

Lawmakers of both parties deserve some credit for raising this long-neglected subject.

That said, it’s also clear that the bill doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Even if one accepts the highly dubious proposition that marijuana should only be legal for medical purposes, the bill as drafted is much too narrow.

The list of approved medical conditions that would render a person eligible excludes a host of serious conditions – including, perhaps most notably, mental illnesses like depression and opioid addiction.

What’s more, the fact that the bill would limit the total number of distribution centers for the entire state to 40 (one for every 260,000+ residents) is clearly inadequate. This assures that many people will have to traverse long distances to obtain the help they need.

But, of course, the bigger issue here is the very idea of limiting access to those fortunate enough to have a physician who can diagnose their condition and write…

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State senators took a small, but positive step last week when they advanced Senate Bill 711 – a proposal to legalize medical cannabis/marijuana. As numerous witnesses – including military veterans struggling with PTSD and other service-related illnesses, as well as others battling the ravages of cancer and chemotherapy – made clear in often emotional testimony during a pair of public hearings, it’s absurd that suffering North Carolinians are denied an effective therapy that’s legal in the overwhelming majority of states.

Lawmakers of both parties deserve some credit for raising this long-neglected subject.

That said, it’s also clear that the bill doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Even if one accepts the highly dubious proposition that marijuana should only be legal for medical purposes, the bill as drafted is much too narrow.

The list of approved medical conditions that would render a person eligible excludes a host of serious conditions – including, perhaps most notably, mental illnesses like depression and opioid addiction.

What’s more, the fact that the bill would limit the total number of distribution centers for the entire state to 40 (one for every 260,000+ residents) is clearly inadequate. This assures that many people will have to traverse long distances to obtain the help they need.

But, of course, the bigger issue here is the very idea of limiting access to those fortunate enough to have a physician who can diagnose their condition and write…



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