North Carolina might follow the steps of the 13 other states that have already legalized the use of medical marijuana. A lawmaker has proposed its legalization, and as in other states also in the process of discussing the possibility of legalization, the proposal has been received with mixed reactions.
The North Carolina Medical Marijuana Act was introduced by State Rep. Guilford Jones, who said that the bill will benefit the seriously ill. In the other states where the use of medical marijuana has been legalized, it is primarily applied as pain management therapy for those who are in advanced stages of pain-ridden diseases such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. In the proposed North Carolina bill, patients with chronic ailments will be allowed to do the same.
The bill spells out several guidelines, some of which are currently being followed by the 13 states where medical marijuana has been legalized. Marijuana is to be distributed and sourced from licensed dispensaries, and will only be administered to those who have been given written certification stating the need for medical marijuana therapy. Patients who qualify will be provided with a registry identification card, which they will have to keep with them at all times.
Those who are opposed to marijuana legalization, however, are quick to counter that there are enough pain relief medication out in the market, so they do not see the need for the use of a substance that has been stereotypically considered as a gateway to the abuse of other illegal substances, such as heroin or cocaine. A pain relief drug, Marinol, is a synthetic drug that reportedly has the same effect as marijuana – but none of the surrounding controversy. Because of this trait, the drug has been referred to as the pot pill.
Marinol, however, carries a rather hefty price tag – $900 for a month’s supply; so cost-wise, marijuana in its natural form will turn out to be more affordable for those who need it for medical purposes.