Bills Encourage Drug Legalization
Special Report - April 7, 2011
On April 4, six state representatives filed legislation to legalize the production, sale, and use of marijuana for medical purposes in North Carolina. HB 577Medical Cannabis Act has been assigned to the House Rules Committee.
The 18-page bill would allow the prescription of marijuana for treatment only in instances of a “bona fide physician-patient relationship” (defined as a physician and patient having a “treatment or counseling relationship in which the physician has completed a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including an appropriate physical examination” and provides follow-up care and treatment specifically relevant to the use of marijuana). The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services would be charged with distributing registry identification cards to patients who qualify and whose physicians prescribe marijuana. Growers and sellers would have to be licensed by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Under the proposed legislation, persons who use marijuana for the treatment of medical symptoms could not be disqualified by schools, employers, or landlords for enrollment, employment, or lease because of the use of the drug. If enacted, the legislation would make North Carolina the only Southern state to legalize the use of so-called “medical marijuana.” Currently, 15 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, despite research showing its dangers to users and society. (See The Dangers of Medical Marijuana article link below.)
In related news, two sponsors of HB 577 were joined by four other representatives in introducing a separate bill to legalize the use, possession, delivery, and manufacture of needles used to inject controlled substances. HB 601Reduce Bloodborne Disease Infection was also assigned to the House Rules Committee. Similar bills that have been introduced in the past, which also sought to curb the spread of Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, and other blood borne diseases by providing drug users with clean syringes, have rarely been considered by legislators, and have never been enacted.
“North Carolina legislators should focus on the tremendous task they have at hand to balance the state’s budget and to provide the state’s citizens with the freedom to make the best decisions for their families, rather than encouraging drug addicts to continue with their addictions,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “The state should be supporting the family by emphasizing drug treatment and assistance programs to free citizens from addiction, not expanding the legal framework for such destructive behaviors.”
Drug Ban Bill Sent to Governor - March 16, 2011
Bill to Ban Imposter Marijuana - January 31, 2011
The Dangers of Medical Marajuana - FNC - January 2009
Former Surgeon General for Medical Marijuana - May 22, 2005
Guilford County Backs Needle Exchange Program - October 26, 2009
Needle Exchange in NC- August 29, 2003
Needle Exchange- Findings 2005
Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.