The North Carolina Senate has given its initial approval for the legalization of medical marijuana on Tuesday, with Senate Bill 3, the "Compassionate Care Act."
The bill allows for the use of medical marijuana for people suffering from:
post-traumatic stress disorder,
and other illnesses.
However, chronic pain is not included, and recreational use of the drug will remain illegal.
North Carolina Compassionate Care Act Passes Senate at 4:20 p.m.
The bill was passed with a 36-10 vote, with bipartisan support, at 4:20 p.m., a significant time in marijuana culture.
Compassionate Care Act may Face Opposition in the House
Last year, the bill died in the House after not receiving a vote. However, House Speaker Tim Moore believes that the prospects for the bill are better this year, with more House members showing support.
Moore emphasizes the need for "reasonable controls" to ensure that there are enough distributors to prescribe medical marijuana, while avoiding creating a monopoly or opening the door to widespread recreational use.
While some Republican senators, such as Jim Burgin of Harnett County, oppose the bill, the legislation has the support of sponsors from both parties. Republican Sens. Bill Rabon and Michael Lee, as well as Democratic Sen. Paul Lowe, sponsored the bill, arguing that it will help North Carolinians while also protecting public safety through regulations.
If the bill receives one more vote, it will be sent to the House, where it will face further debate and discussion.
While it remains to be seen whether the bill will ultimately pass, its initial approval by the Senate marks a significant step forward in the push for medical marijuana legalization in North Carolina.
Read Senate Bill 3 the "Compassionate Care Act" of North Carolina.
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