North Carolina House Republicans last week all but sealed the fate of the state’s medical cannabis bill, deciding not to advance the legislation during a closed-door meeting, Axios reports. The measure was passed by the Senate earlier this month but House Speaker Tim Moore (R) had already indicated the chamber would not take up the legislation.
The N.C. Compassionate Care Act is sponsored by top Senate Republican and powerful Rules Committee chair Sen. Bill Rabon and would allow medical cannabis access for patients diagnosed with cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV, AIDS, and Crohn’s disease. Chronic pain and anxiety are not included in the bill, which would be one of the strictest in the nation.
State Rep. Pricey Harrison has previously indicated that “most if not all Democrats” in the state legislature support the reforms.
A poll released in April conducted by SurveyUSA and commissioned by WRAL News found that 57% of North Carolinians support medical cannabis legalization, including 75% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans.
A poll released earlier this month from the Carolina Partnership for Reform, a conservative group, found that 82% of respondents supported the reforms. The group said it was “surprised” by the support which included 75% of Republicans, 87% of unaffiliated voters, 86% of Democrats, and at least 78% of men and women, white and Black North Carolinians, liberals, moderates, and conservatives. The poll found that 77% of evangelical voters also supported the reforms.
“In fact,” the group said in a post outlining the survey results, “it would be hard for us to point to an issue that we’ve surveyed in the last decade that unified our polarized electorate like legalizing medical marijuana does.”
The measure has a slim chance of being reconsidered as the state session is ongoing and budget negotiations between North Carolina’s Republican-controlled House and Senate chambers, which could revive the bill, are still taking place.