North Carolina lawmaker wants medical marijuana issue decided by voters


Toke of the Town + Flickr/Keith Bacongco

North Carolina state Rep. Kelly Alexander is sick of lawmakers in his state refusing to even debate the issue of medical marijuana. He’s attempted several pieces of legislation over the last few years – all shot down in committee – and says the time is right for voters to speak their minds on medical marijuana in the polls.
But other lawmakers hoping to pass a very strict CBD-only medical marijuana bill for children say Alexander’s proposal might sink their ship.

Alexander’s latest medical marijuana bill, House Bill 1161, will do that by putting the legalization of cannabis use and cultivation for dozens of medical conditions on the November ballot.
Alexander says too many of his fellow lawmakers are too afraid of political backlash down the line over supporting medical cannabis to even discuss the matter. “They may think somebody’s going to come along in an election and try to say that they’re stoners or something,” he said Wednesday. “I call it the Cheech and Chong effect. If indeed you believe the will of the people, then let’s vote this through and let’s put it where the people make the ultimate decision.”
Unfortunately, HB 1161 may be doomed to the same fate as Alexander’s other bills. After all, the conservative North Carolina government wouldn’t ever allow the public to decide what is best for their health and well-being on their own. State Rep. Pat McElraft, a Republican from Carteret, promised that the bill “will never see the light of day”.
Instead, McElraft says lawmakers should pass a bill allowing for high-CBD oils to be given out. It’s a safety bill passed by conservative governments in places like Utah and Florida that – while great for a limited group of deserving patients – seems to give lawmakers an out when discussing any further marijuana legislation by creating a mindset that they’ve already legalized it, no need to go back and revisit it.
McElraft’s bill would legalize the importing of “Realm oil”, a name-branded form of high-CBD oil being fiercely and slickly marketed by a group of brothers out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their oil and proprietary strain called Charlottes Web have become a buzzword around the country and lawmakers in several states have crafted legislation specifically mentioning the strain and medicines made from it.