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North Carolina may legalize medical cannabis

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Thor Benson / Cannabis News Box Contributor

North Carolina is currently moving toward relaxing penalties for cannabis possession and some other cannabis-related crimes. That’s a major step for the state, but there’s more news than that when it comes to cannabis and North Carolina. It’s starting to look like the state might finally legalize medical cannabis

Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-N.C.) has been introducing legislation to legalize medical cannabis every year he’s been in office, since 2009, but it seems the state might now be ready for it. Polls show 80 percent of the state now supports legalizing medical cannabis, and lawmakers in North Carolina are warming up to the idea.

“The legalization of marijuana in North Carolina seems like a normal progression for the state since legalization of Hemp for industrial use,” Jason Spatafora, owner of, told Cannabis News Box. “By being one of the first in that region, it only stands to reason that other red states will follow, especially those with distressed economies like West Virginia. This will be a great provider of jobs, taxation as well as curtail a growing opioid epidemic while simultaneously cutting the legs off of people operating in the cannabis black markets.”

One lawmaker who has opposed legalization, Senator Jeff Tarte (R), recently said that he’s seen a situation in his own life where medical cannabis may have been helpful, and it seems like he’s becoming open to the idea of legalizing it.

“My wife went through breast cancer,” Tarte said. “She’s about 7 months or so from the therapy, radiation and chemo from last year. And this is one straight-laced, uber-conservative woman who doesn’t smoke, never tried marijuana in her entire life, she’s 58-years old and basically what she said to me is if she had it recur she would probably go somewhere where she could use medical marijuana to fight the nausea because it’s pretty ugly.”

Activists in the state have argued that people with cancer and people with epilepsy need the drug to treat their illnesses. One Charlotte family has been in the news advocating for legalization because their son has epilepsy that can be treated using medical cannabis. It’s not clear if legalization of medical cannabis will happen in North Carolina this year, but it does appear to be on the horizon, and it definitely has the support of residents in the state.

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North Carolina may legalize medical cannabis