Paige Burr, 703-303-0058 Grace Ricks, 336-402-6084
PRESS RELEASE: NC Medical Cannabis Bill Receives Bipartisan Support, Passes Senate Judiciary Committee
RALEIGH, N.C. – On Wednesday, June 30, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of the N.C. Compassionate Care Act (SB 711), legislation introduced by Senators Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) and Michael Lee (R-New Hanover) that would allow patients with qualifying medical conditions to legally access and utilize medical cannabis as part of their medical treatment plan, under doctor supervision.
This is the first time in North Carolina state legislature history that a vote has been held on cannabis legislation – let alone passed out of committee. Wednesday’s historic vote received bipartisan support in favor of SB 711, and the bill will now move to the Senate Finance Committee.
Addressing those in the committee room Wednesday, Sen. Rabon said the bill is intended “to give some compassionate care for specific ailments to those people in North Carolina who need it and to make them [the] law abiding citizens that they want to be.”
He added, “I’m certainly moved by the number of people who are here – whether you are for it or whether you’re against it, you’re welcome. I’m anxious to hear from you. I encourage you to help us make this the very best possible piece of legislation we can make out of it.”
“The time has come. This needs to be discussed, and we need to compassionately care for our fellow man in any way that we can.”
Winnabow native, North Carolina Families for Medical Cannabis (NCFMC) advocate and veteran, Sam Roberts, shared his personal story with committee members on Wednesday. After returning from Iraq and considering suicide, Sam was diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety disorders. He was prescribed more than 20 different types of legal medication to treat his symptoms.
“The side effects associated with those drugs made things harder to manage, and they really did not help me,” Sam testified. That’s when a fellow veteran and concerned friend approached him and asked if he had ever tried medical cannabis. “It changed my life. I went from a 2.7 GPA to a 4.0 GPA that semester. I still had PTSD and anxiety, but cannabis, along with professional therapy, helped me cope
and become more stable and a better functioning member of society and a better man, husband and father.”
His story is an all-too familiar one in the veteran community, he said. “We need every weapon and every tool at our disposal to ensure we are doing all we can for our veterans and their families.”
[VIDEO] WATCH MORE OF SAM’S STORY HERE. (not seen in committee)
NCFMC is elevating real-life stories from North Carolina families, as well as serving as a resource for lawmakers and the public to better understand the issues at hand and the opportunity this legislation provides to care for members of our communities. Everyone has a story. We encourage patients to share theirs by visiting our website at www.NCFamiliesForMedicalCannabis.com.