Post-Crossover Lobbyist Report
As reported earlier, the reality is that passing a bill is more likely with bipartisan sponsors. That is why we worked so hard to find Republican sponsors. Both S711 (Rabon, Lee, Lowe) and H858 (Martin, Faircloth) have bipartisan sponsors. Neither has been reassigned to a substance committee yet, which is true of the Democratic sponsored bills as well. Although we had hoped for action by “crossover”, bills with budget or tax implications can be amended and passed at any point before the end of the session in the summer of 2022. Pharmacists, the MS Society, cannabis businesses, and maybe others are offering language changes to the bill that will slow the process. It is very important that you continue to contact your legislators to have hope for medical cannabis by the summer of 2022. Physicians should decide the medical conditions, dose and treatment of medical cannabis.
Please send the following to your Representative and Senator in the NCGA (https://www.ncleg.gov/FindYourLegislators)
Dear Senator or Representative: (insert name),
You may be surprised to learn that comprehensive research found: “It was previously thought that cannabis and tobacco had similar long-term effects as both cause chronic bronchitis. However, recent large studies have shown that, instead of reducing forced vital capacity (FVC), marijuana smoking is associated with increased FVC. The cause of this is unclear, but acute bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis may be relevant.” 
JAMA Psychiatry reported on a 20-year study that found smoking cannabis resulted in only one physical side effect: periodontal disease is the only condition associated with cannabis in mid-life. 
Inhalation of cannabis (vaporizing or smoking) gives almost immediate relief and is easier to reach the appropriate dose to avoid an unexpected high. There are various methods to inhale cannabis - vaporizers, water pipes, vape pens, and rolled cigarettes. Physicians should recommend the method of administration of cannabis based on the best method of administration for the patient and their medical condition.
Open Neurology Journal reported that “Smoking cannabis provides rapid and efficient delivery of THC to the brain.” THC can be detected immediately in blood plasma after the first puff of a cigarette; peak concentrations occur within 10 minutes then decrease to approximately 60% of peak by 15 minutes and 20% of peak by 30 minutes. Rapid onset and predictable decrease means that self-titration of dosing is attainable.” 
According to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, “One of the most clinically relevant findings from this depression study was the widely experienced relief from depression within 2 hours or less” after smoking cannabis. Traditional antidepressant effectiveness often takes weeks. “Given the significant costs to our society from depression, the research herein offers hope for new avenues of treatment.” 
A study reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in symptom and pain reduction in MS patients with treatment-resistant spasticity.
NYU Langone Medical Center researchers discovered a connection between the quantity of cannabinoid receptors in the human brain, known as CB1 receptors, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the chronic, disabling condition with flashbacks, nightmares and emotional instability. “Among the 1.7 million men and women who have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an estimated 20% have PTSD.” But PTSD is not limited to soldiers. Trauma from sexual abuse, domestic violence, car accidents, natural disaster, violent assault or even a life-threatening medical diagnosis can lead to PTSD. The condition affects nearly 8 million Americans annually.
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If you have personal relationships with any of the lawmakers, please email [email protected] to work on a meeting.
Lend a couple hours a month (or more, if you like) NCNORML.org/volunteer to NC NORML’s mission to “educate, empower, and activate North Carolinians to honor the individual liberty of adult consumers to use and/or grow cannabis for medical and/or personal purposes.” Orientation sessions are held every month. Register at NCNORML.org/events
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