Raleigh, NC – U.S. Senate lawmakers could soon vote on whether to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina. It would be allowed for conditions ranging from multiple sclerosis and ALS to nausea from cancer treatment and PTSD.
Senate Bill 711 passed an important committee last week.
38 other states have already legalized medical marijuana for at least some health problems.
We asked you to tell us what you think of the idea.
Our WRAL Your Voice tool isn’t a scientific survey, but those of you who responded said North Carolina should be next by a margin of 43 to 1.
Some viewers spoke from personal experience with medical marijuana.
“I support medical cannabis because I am a veteran of the Iraq war. And I was diagnosed with PTSD after I left the military, ”said Thomas Baker of Wake County. “I was living in California at the time and was able to have access to medical cannabis, and it really helped save my life.”
Others said it could help them with their current medical conditions.
“I hope the North Carolina General Assembly will approve medical marijuana for those of us dealing with chronic back pain from failed back surgery, failed nerve problems, multiple sclerosis, war victims, etc.,” said Tanya Clemmons Cook of Johnston County. We deserve a break. “
The bill as written would cover multiple sclerosis, ALS, nausea associated with cancer treatment, Parkinson’s disease, wasting disease and PTSD. It would NOT include chronic pain – and many viewers said this needs to be included.
Some said it could be a pain management alternative to opioids without the risk of overdose that these drugs continue to pose.
Donald Chaney of Wake County said it should be up to the doctors to decide who could benefit.
“I think we should consider extending the law to long-term chronic pain and diseases like fibromyalgia, severe arthritis, degenerative discs and all kinds of problems that require pain relief,” said Chaney.
“Medical marijuana has been shown to really help people with seizure disorders, cancer, glaucoma, other types of problems like multiple sclerosis or other types of PTSD, depression,” said Lee County’s Kristen Hernandez. “It really needs to be legalized for use under controlled circumstances and with a prescription.”
Others like Laura Smith in Wake County and Julianne Cornwell in Durham said the state should just legalize it for all purposes, even recreational.
“It’s not a bad drug. If it were legal, people could use it for a lot of different things,” said Smith, who told WRAL News that she has three types of arthritis. “I could use it for all of my illnesses.”
“It’s a plant. It’s medicinal. And North Carolina and other states that haven’t legalized it are way behind the times in my opinion,” Cornwell said. “I think the time to legalize it. It could help and save so many people.”
Out of forty-four viewers who replied, only one was against medical marijuana. Wake County’s Larry Lazarus said he believes that people who really need the active ingredient THC in it can already access it in other ways.
“To legalize a drug of this type and with its psychological effects would be madness indeed!” said Lazarus.