North Carolina joins states allowing limited medical marijuana

Thu Jul 3, 2014 4:55pm EDT

Republican Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina makes remarks during a ''Growth and Jobs in America'' discussion at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, February 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Theiler

Republican Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina makes remarks during a ''Growth and Jobs in America'' discussion at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington, February 23, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Theiler

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(Reuters) - North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on Thursday signed a law allowing limited use of medical marijuana to treat seizures, joining states where cannabis has been legalized in some circumstances for therapeutic purposes.

The legislation, called the Hope 4 Haley and Friends bill, was named for 6-year-old Haley Ward of Newport, who suffers from daily seizures. It passed with wide support among North Carolina legislators, following testimony from parents calling it their last hope.

"For some children, this treatment is the only relief they can get from debilitating seizures," McCrory, a Republican, said in a statement.

North Carolina joins states that include Alabama, Mississippi and Florida in allowing the controlled use of a cannabis extract, cannabidiol. It shows promise in helping to reduce seizures, particularly in children who suffer from epilepsy.

    The chemical is gathered from cannabis plants genetically engineered to contain only tiny amounts of the compound that causes marijuana to produce a high.

North Carolina's law is so limited that some advocacy groups do not count it among the 23 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have legalized medical marijuana, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, which considers the new law largely symbolic.

North Carolina authorizes the sale of cannabidiol to patients who suffer persistent seizures. They must register with the state.

Provisions in the new law encourage research to develop new treatments for epilepsy involving the extract. Some North Carolina universities could grow cannabis for study.

(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (4)
Mandingo wrote:
Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado opposed legalization but was forced by voters “the people” to completely legalize marijuana in CO. Asked recently whether it has increased smokers or abuse, he said no that has not been the case. Interesting.

I suspect that if heroin and cocaine was legalized to sell at Pharmacy’s, again the use would probably stay the same. However it would completely change the cartel/crime syndicates and we would not have the turmoil in Latin America or kids at our borders.

Just because something is available does not mean more people will immediately abuse it. I can go right now and legally buy bottles of any liquor I like and start abusing it. I have had that choice for 30 years but just because I can do it, does not mean I do, do it.

Jul 03, 2014 5:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jose3 wrote:
Another state rewarding sick people while punishing hard working tax payers, this is truly disgusting.

Jul 03, 2014 6:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Legio wrote:
You can’t grow or sell the plant and the oil is pretty much free from THC and has a very limited application. It is an outright lie to state that we signed in medical marijuana in our state. It is clear the total lack of understanding that our lawmakers have in regard to this potentially blockbuster plant in regards to fiber, oil for diesel and medicine, and recreation. If you really want to join the 21st century and throw off the shackles of “reefer madness” then legalize the plant totally. It would transform our state in terms of reducing incarceration, money spent on policing and bring in tax revenue by the truckload. Jobs would explode in this state and bring agriculture back with a vengeance. It would be refreshing if our legislature would be at the vanguard instead of the rear on at least one social issue. The nanny state mentality is counter to what our founding fathers envisioned.

Jul 07, 2014 9:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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