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House committee kills medical marijuana bill

Posted February 20, 2013

— The House Rules Committee has killed a bill that would have legalized medical marijuana, an effort by House leaders to stem a tide of phone calls and emails on the topic.

It is somewhat unusual to give a measure an unfavorable report. Typically, bills that won't pass merely sit in committee unheard and untended.

"We did it to be done with it, so people could move on for the session," said Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake. He said lawmakers we're being "harassed" with phone calls and emails about medical marijuana.

The committee listened to public comments about the bill for about 20 minutes before voting.

"Today, my purpose is to convince all of you to legalize marijuana for medical purposes," said Catherine Lyles, 51, of Raleigh. She told the committee that she had been treated for brain cancer 17 years ago and was expected to live only five years. 

After the committee meeting, Lyles said that marijuana had helped her recover from the illness by getting rid of nausea that wouldn't even let her approach a bowl of chicken soup. She said she began investigating marijuana at the suggestion of medical professionals, who said they couldn't legally prescribe any drug that would work as well.

"It was quite a problem. I didn't know anyone who smoked pot," she said, adding that her mother and best friend helped track down some cannabis through a network of childhood friends.

"I cannot tell you how quick and complete the relief I had from horrible nausea was," she said.

Most other speakers and visitors who crowded into the committee room were there to urge lawmakers to embrace medical marijuana. Only one person, Jere Royall with the North Carolina Family Policy Council, urged lawmakers to vote down the bill.

The only lawmaker who spoke at length about the measure was Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, one of the bill's sponsors. He said prior fiscal studies showed the state could reap $39 million per year if medical marijuana were legal.

North Carolina, he said, would be the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana if it passed the bill, he said. 

However, that won't happen this year.

Under House Rules, when a bill given an unfavorable report, "the contents of that bill or the principal provisions of its subject matter shall not be considered in any other measure originating in the Senate or originating thereafter in the House."

94 Comments

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  • pchs2236 Feb 26, 11:54 a.m.

    If you want some information on this info please click the following link
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  • GlenBradley Feb 23, 7:50 p.m.

    This is too disgusting for words. I don't care what your position on the bill itself is, to intentionally kill a bill because it has too much support is a hallmark of fascistic tyranny. There are two gentlemen at the heart of this effort, one in the General Assembly and one lobbyist. Most of the others involved are just too susceptible to arm-twisting.

    I love how these two gentlemen are all about "hands off my healthcare" well, unless it's something we care about of course. And "no bureaucrat should come between doctor and patient" well, unless it's a Republican bureaucrat, then of course it's OK.

    It's this hypocrisy, rank disgusting hypocrisy, which makes the Republican Party into fools. It's measures like this, along with the insane 'obscenity bill' why Republicans are failing at the ballot box, an unless we change course, 2016 is going to be even worse than Obama. Mark my words and mark them well.

    Save America? Not important. Special Interests? YEAH let's get re-elected!

  • scottthescribe1 Feb 23, 1:36 p.m.

    Liberty Tree is lonely.

  • wattsun Feb 22, 12:41 p.m.

    Another point shouldn't these issues be brought before the people and not decided by Special interest and paid off politicians ?

  • wattsun Feb 22, 12:38 p.m.

    This is a telling quote and its not just Republicans Its Democrats as well.
    These people in office forget VERY quickly who they work for and think we are beneath them!
    Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake. He said lawmakers stated we're being "harassed" with phone calls and emails about medical marijuana.

  • Minarchist Feb 22, 9:20 a.m.

    It doesnt help the head of the DEA (a Bush appointee and Obama kept her) who believes marijuana is just as harmful as heroin. How do you even begin with that ignorance? First off heroin can kill you and weed cannot.

  • MyNameIsMud Feb 22, 8:28 a.m.

    The Republican state legislature is making NC a laughing stock at the national level and this story has already gone viral.

  • Minarchist Feb 22, 8:20 a.m.

    Our "representatives" basically told us to sit down and shut up cause they know what is best for us. I am so disgusted in the poor quality people we have in both Raleigh and Washington now. We need a third party, one that cares about the people not just the party. I am sick of politics and politician is a dirty word in my book regardless of which side they are on.
    Huey
    February 21, 2013 6:07 p.m.
    Report abuse

    We have a 3rd party that has always wanted to end the senseless "war" on drugs and restore your personal liberty. Thats why I vote Libertarian. Fiscally responsible and socially tolerant as long as you are not harming, defaming, etc to others.

  • HelmutNewton Feb 21, 6:26 p.m.

    It's obvious that these twerps in Raleigh are not being "harassed" enough! They're supposed to listen to us, not Big Pharma!

  • Huey Feb 21, 6:07 p.m.

    Our "representatives" basically told us to sit down and shut up cause they know what is best for us. I am so disgusted in the poor quality people we have in both Raleigh and Washington now. We need a third party, one that cares about the people not just the party. I am sick of politics and politician is a dirty word in my book regardless of which side they are on.

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