Updated October 20, 2013
Welcome to the NC Medical Cannabis web site, a clearinghouse for information about the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act and efforts to bring safe and legal cannabis to the citizens of the Tar Heel state.
What happened to Medical Cannabis legislation in NC in 2013?
As most of you know, last Feb 20, 2013 in Raleigh was a sad loss for democracy and citizen involvement in the Tar Heel state. Our elected representatives, when meeting in the NC House Rules Committee, in a motion introduced by Rules Committee Vice Chair Paul "Skip" Stam, voted an "unfavorable" for HB 84, The 2013 Proposed NC Medical Cannabis Act - which ends HB 84 and any senate or other house versions of this bill for this 2013-2014 Session. A very sad day... but no time for despair. Despite the harsh and cold dismissal of this bill, the (Tea Party Republican leadership's) inhumane response to the citizens' calls to forward the bill is not out of character for this most reactionary legislature in recent history that is out of step with the people of North Carolina.
The bill: HB 84- Introduced February 7, 2013 - Killed in the Rules Committee February 20, 2013
The excuse given for voting the bill "unfavorable" was in response to what was termed "harassing" amounts of emails and phone calls. It is shocking that a bill would be dismissed because of citizen interest and passion.
Time to Kick-Start the South
Without dwelling on the unenlightened who chose to dismiss the bill without consideration, supporters of state regulated medical cannabis need to foster the new allies we have made in the last months since the bill was introduced and summarily dismissed, and since we saw the continued unmitigated attack on citizens' education, healthcare, environment and community safety that the current legislature undertook in NC this Legislative Session.
We have increased citizen awareness about the medical advances made in cannabinoid medicine, and we have learned of more health professionals who show the courage to step up for patient rights.
We are developing an educational outreach effort to address the prevalent misinformation about the risk profile of cannabis and the harms related to the ongoing demonization of marijuana in the South. Through our efforts, we helped more citizens understand the harsh public health toll taken on suffering citizens who get ensnared in the tangle of the criminal justice system and get labeled "drug offenders".
Look for Our Roll Out of New South Strategy in 2014
We knew it would be a steep climb. For those who need medicine now, at least there are states where they can seek asylum. For the rest of us, we need to learn from today's events, remember this on election day, and focus on education and outreach in the most civil manner possible. Harsh rhetoric has raised hackles on our opponents and emotional pleas for mercy have fallen on deaf ears.
But we should not give up on making our beautiful North Carolina a kinder place to live. North Carolina is America's Swing State and sociocultural change in this region has ripple effects that can sway the overall national perspective. And with the enough support for our grassroots, homegrown efforts, to quote the iconic songwriter N Young, "Southern change gonna come at last."
Please remember that activists serve as diplomats for our cause. Please be civil, legal and respectful at all times.