Will North Carolina become the first Southern state to legalize marijuana?
Mecklenburg Rep. Kelly Alexander is urging his fellow lawmakers to do so - for medical purposes.
Alexander filed a bill Tuesday to allow the use of medical marijuana in the Tar Heel state. Rep. Carla Cunningham, a registered nurse, also of Mecklenburg is co-sponsor. Both are Democrats.
House Bill 1161 is called the Medical cannabis protection act, and is "an act to amend the North Carolina Constitution to legalize the medical use of cannabis.
If the bill passes, it would be placed on the ballot as a referendum for voters to approve or reject. The proposal says "this act shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the State at a statewide general election to be held on November 4, 2014, which election shall be conducted under the laws then governing elections in the State... If a majority of the votes cast on the question are in favor... the amendment becomes effective December 1, 2014."
"Cannabis is a substance that does have medical applications that are provable," Charlotte's WSOC TV quotes Alexander as saying.
Alexander said hearing about people who struggle with chronic pain, specifically veterans, is a big reason for his push.
He also said the state could make big money -- anywhere from $100 to $200 million in tax revenue.
That money could help the state address numerous needs, Alexander said. "Salary increases for teachers,” he noted.
This fall, Alaska and Florida are the latest states set to offer voters the chance to legalize pot. Will North Carolina join them?
If it was left up to young people, that would be a safe bet. A Pew Research Center poll from February showed 70 percent of people between 18 and 29 years old believe marijuana should be legalized.
That is compared to 32 percent of people 65 and older who support it.
Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington state.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Posted by Fannie Flono at 11:59 AM