Local Politics

Medical marijuana gaining support in N.C.

Posted March 5, 2010

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— State lawmakers could vote on a bill legalizing marijuana for medical purposes this spring.

Rep. Nick Mackey, D-Mecklenburg, sponsored the bill and held a Thursday night rally at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to support medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana supporter Lawmaker sponsors rally for medical marijuana

House Bill 1380 passed an initial vote last year and is now in a health committee.

Joe Cullen said he suffers from a debilitating, muscular disease that has left him in a wheelchair and in constant pain. He's on painkillers, but he said smoking marijuana is the only thing that truly works to relieve his pain.

"It has done a lot of wonders. It relaxes my muscles so I don't get cramps in my muscles and charley horses," Cullen said. "It reduces my pain pretty much instantly."

Cullen lobbied last summer for a law to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes and said he plans to continue smoking the drug, even without such a law.

"If the taxpayers would like to see me in jail, so be it," he said.

Supporters say legalizing marijuana for health-related reasons would generate more than $60 million in state taxes in the first year alone.

Still, some people say the proposal could have serious side-effects.

"I don't think it is in the best health interest of the larger community," said Anne Doolen, executive director of the Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina. "Not everyone who uses it will develop an addiction, (but) there will be a percentage of the population who will. The availability makes it riskier for those (people)."

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  • jaredg Mar 8, 12:36 p.m.

    it is only a matter of time before this happens. people in general are becoming more educated and making informed decisions as the generations pass. medical marijuana has been proven to help patients of chronic pain and cancer victims to SURVIVE!! this ban on MJ is worse the then the prohibition was on alcohol. Not only should it be legal for medical use but also recreational use just like booze. regulated it, tax it, grow it. Its better for everyone!!

  • Scubagirl Mar 5, 7:59 p.m.

    Well, it certainly has my vote. It's been proven that it helps several disease states and just think of the revenue the state could gain from it. I've always said, legalize it and tax it-several problems solved: no prison time for minor/personal posession, taxes from the sale of it legally and less crowding in the prisons.

  • lihueclark Mar 5, 7:58 p.m.

    Hey WRAL...Find someone to comment on your stories who has a clue about whats going on in medical research.

    "I don't think it is in the best health interest of the larger community," said Anne Doolen, executive director of the Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina. "Not everyone who uses it will develop an addiction, (but) there will be a percentage of the population who will. The availability makes it riskier for those (people)."

    Marijuana is a NON ADDICTIVE substance. The only thing addicted to marijuana in this state is law enforcment. And its addictied to the money it generates for them. Do you think any official who has a financial stake in changing the system is going to be in favor of it??? Just be cause they say they are an authority on the matter doesn't make it so.

    Go to CarolinaFreedom.Org or check us out on Facebook.
    If you outlaw tomato plants, drug dealers would be dealing ketchup.

  • 6079 SMITH W Mar 5, 7:58 p.m.

    Its a plant...not a drug.

  • patriotsrevenge Mar 5, 7:55 p.m.

    I'd love to read this story, but my glaucoma seems to be acting up. :)

  • 6079 SMITH W Mar 5, 7:51 p.m.

    "Not everyone will develop an addiction......but some will....availability will make it riskier for some" And this is different from alcohol how? Keeping Mary Jane illegal is a political wedge issue, and it is always used to frighten people who have never tried it, and believe all the "We know what is best for you" propaganda.....If only these frightened people would realize who has the most to gain by keeping a harmless weed illegal. It could lead to dancing, and it must be stopped! (Sound Familiar?)

  • GinkgoPhyta Mar 5, 7:49 p.m.

    I wonder how people would react if caffeine was made illegal and there was a war on drugs against caffeine. And, yes, people have overdosed on caffeine and there is withdrawal symptoms.

    Medical marijuana is quite different from the other "street" strains... they breed plants to have a good ratio of THC to THB. I won't get into it, but THB is antipsychotic. The problem is that the new strains have a ridiculous amount of THC (low THB) compared to what they use to have back in the 60s. I would recommend watching some documentaries about it if you are someone that is ardently against legalization.

  • colliedave Mar 5, 7:44 p.m.

    As one who suffers from cronic pain, don't think I would try it as the meds I take do a good job of minimizinng the pain. I also dp a good deal of prison ministry and see the results of the failed war on drugs. Need to treat it as one would a narcotic pain killer: Rx for individual use only and must be monitored by a doc.

  • clickhere Mar 5, 7:42 p.m.

    I've got that same condition as Joe Cullen, don't you all? They should just blanketly legalize mj and let it be taxed. No big deal.

  • MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap Mar 5, 7:33 p.m.

    wooo HOOOOO!!! please, please be like CA where you can get an Rx for medicinal marijuana for menstrual cramps.

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