A key North Carolina Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which first heard testimony on the proposal last week, approved the legislation in a voice vote. It must still move through three additional panels before potentially being considered on the floor.
Rules Committee Chairman Bill Rabon (R) is sponsoring the measure, which would allow patients to access cannabis if they have a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis. Regulators would have authority to add additional qualifying conditions.
The purpose of the legislation is to “give some compassionate care for specific ailments to those people in North Carolina who need it and to make them law-abiding citizens,” Rabon said ahead of the vote.
“I can tell you that I have been quite moved by this because of my personal experiences,” the senator, who is a cancer survivor, said. “At times it has been difficult for me to talk to some people about that, but I will say again that the time has come—that this needs to be discussed and we need to compassionately care for our fellow man in any way that we can and any way that we can, as a body, make it legal.”
BREAKING: Medical cannabis passes NC Senate Judiciary Committee.
Headed to three more committees. If it passes all of them, then to Senate floor.
Still a battle within GOP, where some members voted no just now in committee.
Outcome remains uncertain.
— Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) June 30, 2021
Majority Leader Kathy Harrington (R), whose husband was recently diagnosed with blood cancer, was one of the aye votes in the panel.
“If you had asked me six months ago if I would support this