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The North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act

The North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act - wherein most forms of simple drug possession would still be illegal - has been proposed by North Carolina legislators. It's the latest in a line of proposed medical marijuana bills that have made their way across the nation, with varying degrees of success.

Many states (15 states and Washington, D.C.) currently allow the use of medical marijuana, such as Alaska, Hawaii, California, Arizona and Colorado on the western side to such eastern states as New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

"Compassion dictates that State law should make a distinction between the medical and non-medical use of cannabis," the bill says. But compassion is not the only motivator among legislators who seek to pass the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act.

It's not just those who suffer from diseases like HIV/AIDS and cancer who would benefit from the use of medical marijuana - legislators and others claim that legalized medical marijuana would be a significant source of revenue for the state - upwards of $250 million in four years, according to language in the bill.

The bill says that "[m]odern medical research has discovered beneficial uses for medical cannabis in treating or alleviating pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions," though it must be questioned whether favorable "medical research" alone is the reason for the bill's proposal.

After all, the legalization of marijuana generally has been a subject of great debate for many years now, and typically generates political pressure from both sides of the aisle.

Source: WFMY News 2, "NC Lawmakers Propose Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana," Sarah Lanse, 4 April 2011

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