We’re one step closer to having medical marijuana in North Carolina.
Senate Bill 711, which would allow patients with select qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation, passed out of the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee August 24th.
Marijuana Bill Once Considered a Longshot Appears Poised to Become Law
The bill was widely thought to be a longshot, as several other legalization bills have died in the face of conservative opposition in past legislative sessions. However, several conservative state Senators have supported the bill in its current form, helping it clear legislative hurdles and move toward passage.
Senator Bill Rabon, the bill’s primary sponsor, has said the law would be stricter than any of the 36 state marijuana markets currently in operation.
In its current form, the bill would allow patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, ALS, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, MS, and Parkinson’s disease to use medical marijuana.
Some Worry SB 711 Doesn’t Do Enough
During the Judiciary Committee meeting, Senator Natasha Marcus brought up the issue of chronic pain, and whether or not it should be included among the qualifying conditions. She said she discussed the issue with a doctor from Utah.
“I asked him specifically whether in his state they include medical marijuana to be allowed for the treatment of chronic pain,” Marcus said. “He said that yes they do, and that it works well there, particularly when it’s focused on using medical marijuana to reduce opioid use and addiction.”
Activists have repeatedly asked the Senate to include chronic pain and opioid addiction, a common condition for patients who suffer from chronic pain, to be included among the qualifying conditions, as they are under Utah’s law.
“I said it back when we first heard the bill and I’ll say it again, that this bill would be much better if we acknowledge that we have this problem here as well,” Marcus said. In fact, North Carolina suffered more than 12,000 opioid overdose deaths from 199 to 2016.
SB 711 Still Has a Long Way to Go
The bill must now pass the Senate's Health Care Committee, which has already voted once to approve medical marijuana. It will also need to pass a final committee, Rules and Operations. From there, it will have to pass the entire Senate, then repeat the entire process in the House. Finally the bill will have to be signed by the governor before it becomes law.
You Don’t Have to Wait for Final Passage to Start Finding Relief
While you won’t be able to get a North Carolina Marijuana Card until SB 711 becomes law, you don’t have to wait to get the process started. Reserve an evaluation today, and we’ll book an appointment for you with one of our compassionate doctors just as soon as we’re cleared to do so.
You’ll meet with your doctor virtually using your smartphone or computer, so that you can learn if medical marijuana is right for you from the comfort of your own home. Not only that, but you’ll save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-7320, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
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