Updated February 20, 2015
A Look back in NC Legislative History
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".
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.
Feedback on Day at the Legislature -
February 12, 2013:
With over 1600 "Will Attend" RSVP's it was disappointing that only about 300 dedicated activists actually attended the Legislative Day. We must do better to show populist support.
Although our issue is clearly nonpartisan, the controlling Republican majority stood in unison marginalizing HB 84 and the issue of medical cannabis. We do not have a single Republican supporter who will sponsor this bill. We need support from both sides of the aisle. Republicans -- it is time to step up and help your fellow Carolinians.
The press coverage for the bill and the event was less than desired. An AP news story was covered via several regional markets, but some areas of the state had no coverage, and some covered the bill but with a decidedly anti-cannabis bias. (Example, Wilmington story "Marijuana: Seeds of Crime" announcing the bill...)
The Rules Committee will decide whether to forward HB 84 to Committee or for vote (or death by neglect) tomorrow at 1 pm. Please call Tim Moore and show your support for allowing the bill to move forward this session.
Please email or call the Rules Committee members and urge them to allow HB 84 due consideration, given that 6 in 10 Carolinians support legal medical cannabis for NC.
Visiting the Legislative Center?
Directions to the NC House Of Delegates - Legislative Center complex
Map of Legislative Complex -- Public parking is available in three visitor's lots. Visitor's lot #1 is located at the corner of Jones Street and Wilmington Street. Visitor's lot #2 is located in the 300 block of North Salisbury Street and can also be accessed from the 300 block of North McDowell Street. Visitors lot #3 is located at the corner of Edenton and McDowell Streets. Rates are charged by the hour and the parking lots are controlled by the Department of Administration. Other city owned lots and private lots are available throughout the downtown area.
ADA Accessibility Information
Need to know who to contact?
Look up who represents you - Link to legislators emails and phone numbers: NC House - NC Senate
* Legislative Contact Sheet - (Please print out one or two of these per attendee for you to complete and report your discussions with your representatives and senators and send in. NCCPN volunteers who will compile and publish the results.)
Medical Cannabis Education Day - * Agenda (PDF)
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - NC House of Delegates, Legislative Center in Raleigh
Advocates for a medical marijuana law in North Carolina met in Raleigh, NC on February 12, 2013 at the Legislative Center, beginning at 9 am. The program in the auditorium was from 11 am to 2 pm and was for attendees and legislators . Time before and after the program was reserved visits with representatives and senators and fellow supporters.
There is still much work to accomplish: