Medical marijuana bill introduced in North Carolina

Published: Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:27 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:27 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A lawmaker from Mecklenburg County introduced a bill Tuesday that proposes legalizing marijuana.

And when it comes to the topic of medical marijuana, everyone has an opinion.

"If it's not broke, don't fix it," said Karen Thomas.

"For people who need it I think it's okay," said Dennis Knaack

State representative Kelly Alexander introduced the bill in Raleigh.

It's his second time. His first attempt at bringing up the bill two years ago failed to gain traction.

But this time he says, more people seem to be in favor of the idea.

"Medical cannabis can help. Right now, people who want to use cannabis in a medical sense were forced into the black market and that shouldn't be," said Rep. Alexander, a democrat.

Representative Alexander says the drug is great for treating chronic pain symptoms.

An online petition shows more than 15,000 signatures from people supporting the legislation.

But some people say legalizing medical marijuana is just an excuse for some people to get high.

"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 Thompson.

Others think the law should include specific language.

"I think there should be certain stipulations on it, so people can't sell it on the streets and what not," said Knaack.

Right now, medical marijuana is legal in DC and 18 states.

Costs range from $25 to $200 depending on the maximum prescription amount allowed in each state.

Representative Alexander says legalizing medical marijuana means more money for North Carolina.

"If cannabis is legalized medically, that means it can be taxed and the state would derive some revenue for that," said Alexander.

Groups on both sides are already planning to take their case to Raleigh next week.

They're planning to meet with lawmakers next Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.