Is Medical Marijuana Making its Way to NC?

Posted on Feb 21, 2018

Fox 46 of Charlotte, N.C. reports that Kelly Alexander--House of Representative member--will introduce the use of medical marijuana this year for the ninth year in a row. 

David Sentendrey of FOX 46 Charlotte news asked him, "Why do you keep doing it?"

His response: "Becuase I think it's right."

According to a 2017 poll taken by Elon, 80 percent of North Carolinians want medical marijuana to be legalized.

Harvard Health Publishing explained in their article, Medical Marijuanathat cannabis is a muscle relaxant that can be used to treat pain, Parkinson's disease, seizures, nausea, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and several other diseases.

The group, NC NORML, informed FOX 46 Charlotte about their goal to raise enough money to hire full-time lobbyists to help influence lawmakers' decisions. Alexander has hired a professional lobbyist to debate this issue further with legislatures.

However, despite his efforts, Alexander believes there are too many stereotypes about cannabis in the Raleigh, tri-state area for it to be legalized at this time.

He tells FOX 46 Charlotte, "I used to joke about the Cheech and Chong effect. Whether it's Cheech and Chong, Harold and Kumar--pick your comedian. Too many folks in the legislature viewed cannabis when you first started talking about it in those terms."

FOX 46 Charlotte interviewed Dr. Uma Dhanabalan, MD. MPH. FAAFP. of Massachusetts--where medical marijuana is legal--about her position on its usage.

Dr. Dhanabalan of Massachusetts tells FOX 46 Charlotte:

"It's criminal, it's criminal, and at this point it's arrogance. We have this thing known as the World Wide Web and people can find out the information that nobody in the world has ever died from a cannabis overdose and we are having over 100 deaths per day right now from opioids. I want everybody to know that stigma is the primary cause of why doctors are not talking about this and the information is not provided."

Where do N.C. Lawmakers Stand?

Charlotte asked all 17 North Carolina General Assembly Members over Mecklenburg County how they felt about the medical use of cannabis. They received ten responses: three were opposed, one was unsure, and six were in favor of legalizing it. 

So, what does this mean for the future?

We could see medical marijuana being utilized in N.C. sooner than we think. The Marijuana Policy Project's 2017-2018 data confirms that 90 percent of Americans want medical marijuana to be legalized. With numbers this high, it's no question North Carolina will have to one day at least consider medical marijuana reform.


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