I have asked the bill drafting office to draw up legislation, which I will introduce in April, which will permit the use of cannabis by the terminally ill.
The rules of the short session restrict the types of legislation that can be introduced. That’s why a more comprehensive bill cannot be considered until the 2017 long session. In the meantime, if you are interested in reform, we will need to build a movement that will be taken seriously at the General Assembly.
During this primary season, which ends on March 15, you need to attend every political forum you can and ask the candidates what their position on legalizing medical marijuana in North Carolina is. If they oppose legalization, then in a follow up question, ask them to explain their reasoning in detail.
It’s time for you to vote for candidates who support change and vote against candidates who stand on the status quo. It’s time for you to volunteer to work for and alongside campaigns that support change. During early voting, engage citizens waiting to vote in a dialogue about our out-of-date marijuana laws. Contribute money in support of candidates who stand for and speak out for legalization of medical marijuana.
Find out who represents you in the General Assembly. You can get this information from your local Board of Elections. During the primary season, ask for an appointment to see them in person. At the meeting explain why you support the legalization of medical marijuana. Ask them to cosponsor the upcoming bill on legalization for the terminally ill. Ask them to support full legalization of medical marijuana in 2017. By support, I mean cosponsor the bill and vote for it to pass at the committee level and on the House floor.
Start thinking big. In the past we have seen attendance in Raleigh for medical marijuana legislative days grow from scores of activists to hundreds. In 2017 we need thousands of citizens to show up in Raleigh for a marijuana legislative day that will combine citizens lobbying with a mass teach in.