Raleigh, NC - State Representative Pricey Harrison says she has a personal reason to support legislation legalizing medical marijuana.
The Guilford County representative's sister had a brain tumor and was prescribed synthetic marijuana to ease her pain.
"I just think we don't need to criminalize these patients that are already suffering enough and we ought to be able to provide access to the kinds of reliefs that they need," explained Representative Harrison. She wants North Carolina to join 18 other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing medical marijuana.
The bill she's co-sponsoring with Representative Kelly Alexander would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis to patients with debilitating medical conditions like cancer, hypertension, and arthritis to name just a few.
Laid out in an 18-page bill are plans to establish an identification system to be monitored by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. It also establishes a distribution and supply system to be set up by the state's Department of Agriculture.
It also gives patients, their caregivers, doctors, suppliers and distributors immunity from criminal prosecution if they use the drug in the ways this could-be law lays out.
"This is not an opportunity for folks to get access to this drug for recreational use one and they're very strict procedures that need to be followed and its not going to add an additional burden on any agency, and the program will be funded through fees that will be accessed on the supplier so it will be self sustaining in terms of the funding," said Harrison.
Representative Harrison admits there are some areas that need clarification but says they can be ironed out on the House floor.
"The issue has fallen down on partisan lines unfortunately but I think it will just take some education," explained Harrison. "I think that when you actually talk to or meet constituents who have suffered and for whom this is the only relief that they can get, I think that that might change some minds."
This bill will appear on the calendar Monday and will have its first reading. Then, it will be assigned to a committee.
Tuesday, supporters of this legislation are supposed to rally in Raleigh.
Read: North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act
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