Raleigh, NC -- Lawmakers are introducing a bill to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act would allow people with certain medical conditions to buy and use marijuana without penalty.
Guilford County Democratic Representative Pricey Harrison is one of the sponsors.
The bill states, "Modern medical research has discovered beneficial uses for medical cannabis in treating or alleviating pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions."
Patients with diseases including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS and hepatitis C would be allowed to use medical marijuana.
The bill states that "Compassion dictates that State law should make a distinction between the medical and non-medical use of cannabis." The bill is designed to protect patients with certain medical conditions, their caretakers and doctors from arrest and prosecution. Schools, employers and landlords will not be allowed to penalize a patient or caregivers because they use medical marijuana.
Doctors must warn patients of the risks and benefits associated with medical marijuana use. The doctor must also provide documentation of the patient's medical history and medical condition. Patients would need a special photo ID from the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
Under the bill, it would be illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis. It would also be illegal to smoke it in a school bus or any other form of public transportation, on school grounds, in any correctional facility or in public places in North Carolina.
The bill claims legalizing medical marijuana would bring $250 million a year into North Carolina within four years of the legalization.
Federal law prohibits use of marijuana. Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state and Washington, D.C. permit marijuana for medical use.
WFMY News 2