Supporters push lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana - | WBTV Charlotte

Supporters push lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana


North Carolina state legislators heard what the public thinks about medical marijuana Tuesday.

Advocates were in Raleigh to lobby state legislators.

The Enact Medical Cannabis Act was filed by two Democratic lawmakers last week.

It would allow state residents to possess and use small amounts of pot with a doctor's prescription.

Sheri Gallagher takes 16 pills a day because of a botched gall bladder surgery in 2006 that left  her disabled.

"I have pain everyday, I have serious issues eating, nausea and vomiting," said Gallagher.

She is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana even though she has yet to try it. She believes the drug could ease her pain without the side effects of traditional pain killers.

"The medicine made it worse so do you hurt or do you take the pain medicine?" she said.

On Tuesday, 200 supporters descended on Raleigh to tell lawmakers why they think the drug should be legalized.

Some studies show marijuana can relieve nerve pain commonly felt by patients with multiple sclerosis, HIV, diabetes and other conditions.

Research also suggests it can help treat cancer patients.

But some people worry the drug will fall into the wrong hands.

"It should just stay the way that it is, it should not be legal for people to abuse it more and get themselves into more trouble," said one woman.

Eighteen other states and DC have already legalized marijuana and it appears North Carolina is coming around to the idea.

Republican house speaker Thom Tillis says he wouldn't rule out a well-crafted bill to help patients with serious illnesses, but the law would have to be very specific to prevent abuse. Gallagher believes patients should at least have the option to try it.

"I would like to at least try it," she said.

An online petition supporting the bill already has more than 15-thousand signatures.

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