North Carolina Senate Approves Medical Cannabis Bill

The North Carolina state Senate approved a bill on Thursday to legalize medical cannabis; the measure moves next to the House of Representatives.

Full story after the jump.

The North Carolina Senate on Thursday voted 35-10 to legalize medical cannabis, WGHP reports. The measure still requires House of Representatives approval before moving to the governor.

The bill was opposed by eight Republicans and two Democrats, including Sen. Don Davis who is running for Congress in the state’s 1st District.  

The NC Compassionate Care Act would allow medical cannabis use for a narrow list of conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV, AIDS, and Crohn’s disease. Chronic pain and anxiety are not included in the bill, which would be one of the strictest in the nation.

Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Democrat that supports the reforms, told WGHP to “defer” to her Republican colleagues “as to whether the House will take it up.”

“Most if not all Democrats support it.” – Harrison to WGHP

A poll released in April conducted by SurveyUSA and commissioned by WRAL News found that 57% of North Carolinians support the reforms, including 75% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans.

A poll released last week from the Carolina Partnership for Reform, a conservative group, found that 82% of respondents supported the reforms. The group said it was “surprised” by the support which included 75% of Republicans, 87% of unaffiliated voters, 86% of Democrats, at least 78% of men and women, white and Black North Carolinians, liberals, moderates, and conservatives. The poll found that 77% of evangelical voters supported the reforms.

“In fact,” the group said in a post outlining the survey results, “it would be hard for us to point to an issue that we’ve surveyed in the last decade that unified our polarized electorate like legalizing medical marijuana does.”

According to NORML’s Smoke the Vote, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper supports the reforms.

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