Both sides accused the other of playing politricks. As usual, cannabis got the short end of the stick.
The cannabis-related bills introduced in 2019 were a mixed bag of the good, the bad, and the very ugly. Here’s the list in chronological order, with a brief synopsis. We will post more details about each bill on our blog.
S58-Revise Marijuana Laws. Filed on 2/13/19. Paul A. Lowe, Jr. (D-32), Valerie P. Foushee (D-23), Milton F. “Toby” Fitch, Jr. (D-4), Jay J. Chaudhuri (D-15), Natasha R. Marcus (D-41), Mujtaba A. Mohammed (D-38), Wiley Nickel (D-16), Joyce Waddell (D-40). Would make it no longer unlawful to possess marijuana for personal use in quantities of four ounces or less. Adjusts the penalties for possession of marijuana accordingly: for possession of over three ounces (previously one half of an ounce) the violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor; for possession of over 16 ounces (previously one and one-half ounces) the violation is a Class I felony.
S168-Expand Allowed Medical Uses/Cannabis Extract. Filed on 2/27/19. Floyd B. McKissick, Jr. (D-20), Ralph Hise (R-47), Paul A. Lowe, Jr. (D-32), Natasha R. Marcus (D-41), Joyce Waddell (D-40). The first edition of the bill would allow the use of hemp extract to treat autism, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and mitochondrial disease, in addition to intractable epilepsy.
H401-Enact Medical Cannabis Act. Filed on 3/20/19. Kelly M. Alexander, Jr. (D107), John Autry (D-100), Becky Carney (D-102), Pricey Harrison (D-61), John Ager (D-115), Mary Belk (D-88), Allison A. Dahle (D-11), Susan C. Fisher (D-114), Zack Hawkins (D-31), Howard J. Hunter, III (D-5), Carolyn G. Logan (D-101), Nasif Majeed (D-99), Graig R. Meyer (D-50), Derwin L. Montgomery (D-72), Marcia Morey (D-30), Raymond E. Smith, Jr. (D-21), Evelyn Terry (D-71), Brian Turner (D-116), Michael H. Wray (D-27). Would enact a medical marijuana program in NC.
H409-Legalize FDA-Approved Schedule VI Drugs. Filed on 3/20/19. Gregory F. Murphy, MD (R-9), Pat McElraft (R-13), Wayne Sasser (R-67). Would make it legal to prescribe, distribute, dispense, administer, transfer, transport, possess, or use any prescription drug product containing marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol, for which an application has been approved under Section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended, provided that any such action is consistent with federal law.”
S315-North Carolina Farm Act of 2019. Filed on 3/20/19. Brent Jackson (R-10), Norman W.Sanderson (R-2), Todd Johnson (R-35), Dan Bishop (R-39), Jim Burgin (R-12), Ben Clark (D-21), Jim Davis (R-50), Kirk deViere (D-19), Chuck Edwards (R-48), Valerie P. Foushee (D-23), Rick Gunn (R-24), Paul A. Lowe, Jr. (D-32), Tom McInnis (R-25), Mujtaba A. Mohammed (D-38), Paul Newton (R-26), Jim Perry (R-7), Vickie Sawyer (R-34), Sam Searcy (D-17), Erica D. Smith (D-3), Bob Steinburg (R-1), Joyce Waddell (D-40), Mike Woodard (D-22). Much of the bill deals specifically with hemp, and sets forth regulations for hemp farming, possessing, handling, transport, or selling of hemp products or hemp extracts. Allows hemp products to be transported to other states and exported to foreign nations.
S352-Amend NC Controlled Substances Act. Filed on 3/25/19. Tom McInnis (R-25), Jim Davis (R-50), Ralph Hise (R-47), Joyce Krawiec (R-31). Defines “smokable hemp” as marijuana. https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2019/S352
H766-Revise Marijuana Laws. Filed on 4/15/19. John Autry (D-100), Allison A. Dahle (D-11), Pricey Harrison (D-61), Zack Hawkins (D-31), John Ager (D-115), Kelly M. Alexander, Jr. (D107), Cecil Brockman (D-60), Carla D. Cunningham (D-106), Susan C. Fisher (D-114), Rosa U. Gill (D-33), Verla Insko (D-56), Carolyn G. Logan (D-101), Nasif Majeed (D-99), Graig R. Meyer (D-50), Derwin L. Montgomery (D-72), Raymond E. Smith, Jr. (D-21). Would make it no longer unlawful to possess marijuana for personal use in quantities of four ounces or less. Adjusts the penalties for possession of marijuana accordingly: for possession of over three ounces (previously one half of an ounce) the violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor; for possession of over 16 ounces (previously one and one-half ounces) the violation is a Class I felony.
Familiarize yourself with the language in these bills – variations of them are likely to be introduced during the 2020 short session with different bill numbers.
Follow your legislators on social media and look for opportunities to interact with them between sessions.
Our inaugural “Board Chat” occurred 7 PM on our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/NCNORML. The next Board Chat has been scheduled for December 5th! Details coming soon!
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