Earlier today, newly elected and returning lawmakers convened for the first day of North Carolina's 2019 legislative session. Since mid-June, voters in Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri enacted medical cannabis laws, bringing the number of medical cannabis states to 32.
But even though 80% of North Carolina voters support medical cannabis, patients in North Carolina either needlessly suffer or risk arrest to find relief from cannabis. Let your lawmakers know you want them to change that.
After your use our automated system to send a quick note to your elected officials, please share this message with other compassionate North Carolinians.
State Rep. Kelly Alexander has been a strong advocate for comprehensive, workable medical marijuana policies in North Carolina. Last year, he filed HB 78, which would have allowed seriously ill patients to use, possess, and cultivate a limited amount of marijuana if recommended to do so by their physicians. Unfortunately, the bill was voted down in committee.
As part of this effort, Rep. Alexander is collecting signatures on a petition to show his colleagues in the legislature that North Carolinians support allowing the terminally ill to access medical marijuana — and he plans to introduce a bill that would do so during the short session this year.
Rep. Alexander is also hosting an Early Voting Kick Off Block Party — which is also a fundraiser for his campaign — to help get out the vote. This is a chance to thank Rep. Alexander for his leadership on behalf of compassionate medical marijuana laws.
Wednesday, March 2
7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
900 NC Music Factory Blvd., Ste. B6
Charlotte, NC 28206
General admission tickets: $45, VIP tickets: $75
If you live in North Carolina, please contact your lawmakers and urge them to support comprehensive medical marijuana legislation when the new session starts this year.
North Carolina Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenberg) has introduced legislation to put a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana on November’s ballot. If enacted, qualified medical marijuana patients and their caregivers would no longer be subject to arrest and prosecution for using marijuana under a doctor’s order. HB 1161 — the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act — would also set up a “regulated medical cannabis supply system” so that patients can safely access their medicine.
Rep. Alexander has previously introduced variations of this bill into the legislature; however, they have been either ignored or rudely killed, despite overwhelming public support for medical marijuana. Because the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act would amend the state’s constitution, it must get a three-fifths vote in both chambers before it can be placed on November’s ballot. If you are a North Carolina resident, ask your lawmakers to support HB 1161 today.
Last Friday, news broke that former UNC Tar Heel Will Graves faces misdemeanor charges after police officers found 4.4 grams of marijuana in a house that Mr. Graves rents. Let your lawmakers know that they should not burden responsible adults with criminal convictions for using a substance that is safer than alcohol. If you are a North Carolina resident, please ask them to replace criminal penalties for the possession of a small amount of marijuana with a civil fine.
Mr. Graves just finished his degree. This should be a time of celebration for him and his loved ones. Instead, he must ponder how these charges could affect the rest of his life. While he readily accepts blame for his actions, he shouldn’t be in this situation to begin with. At the very least, simple possession of marijuana shouldn’t result in a criminal conviction that can destroy a person’s ability to pursue their dreams.
The time is right for North Carolina to take a serious look at its marijuana policies. Draconian penalties have done nothing to prevent use or access but have done a great job of enriching criminal actors and wasting taxpayer dollars. If you live in North Carolina, please take minute to send an email to your state lawmakers asking them to remove criminal penalties for the simple possession of marijuana.
MPP released a video last week listing the country's "Worst State Legislators of 2013" on marijuana policy issues. The seven state representatives and one state senator were selected based on their legislative efforts to maintain or expand marijuana prohibition policies, as well as statements they made, during the 2013 legislative sessions. Watch the video countdown below.
The Huffington Post reports:
The video counts down the MPP's top eight marijuana policy offenders, alongside some direct quotes that are questionable, to say the least.
Take, for instance, Rep. Darryl Rouson (D-St. Petersburg), who called bongs and pipes "utensils of death;" Rep. Luke Malek (R-Coeur d'Alene) who called medical marijuana a "farcical predatory scheme;" and Rep. David Howard (R-Park City) -- whose home state of Montana has been battling a crippling meth epidemic -- who called marijuana a "poison" and "the most dangerous drug there is."
The list also garnered some local media attention in Colorado, where the #1 worst legislator of 2013, Sen. John Morse (D), is facing a highly talked-about recall election, and in Iowa, where the #7 worst legislator, Rep. Clel Baudler (R), bragged about being listed.
North Carolina State Rep. Kelly Alexander, Jr. (D-Mecklenburg) introduced a bill to downgrade the penalty for simple possession of marijuana in the state. H637, which was co-sponsored by seven of Rep. Alexander’s Democratic colleagues, passed first reading Wednesday and was referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.
Currently, individuals in North Carolina convicted of possession of under a half-ounce of marijuana typically receive a fine and a suspended sentence. While the existing law keeps most marijuana consumers out of jail, it still leaves individuals with stigmatizing criminal records.
Under H637, those found possessing less than an ounce of marijuana would receive a civil infraction rather than a suspended sentence and a rap sheet. The bill also allows past offenders to have their records expunged.
If you live in North Carolina, ask your lawmakers to join Rep. Alexander in bringing sensible reform to the state then urge your friends and family to do the same.
As you might have read or heard, a state representative in North Carolina killed a medical marijuana bill yesterday because he felt he and his colleagues were being “harassed” based on the volume of emails and calls they were receiving in support of the legislation.
This is unacceptable. Our democratic process depends on citizens reaching out to their elected representatives to let them know where their constituents stand on the issues. Not only is this type of civic engagement appropriate, it should be encouraged. If anything, such a high volume of calls and emails in support of the medical marijuana bill should be considered a sign that this is an issue worthy of public debate.
Please send a message to Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam asking him to apologize for equating calls and emails from constituents to being “harassed,” and requesting that he call for a hearing regarding medical marijuana.