A North Carolina bill would legalize medical marijuana in the state, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.
Introduced by State Rep. Kelly Alexander, House Bill 78 (HB78) would allow medical marijuana to make its way into the hands of the qualified patients after receiving ID cards issued by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services; something that unconstitutional federal law says is illegal.
Under HB78, a qualified patient would be defined as someone who “has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.” There is no specific or finite list of specific conditions necessary to qualify. Patients would be allowed to keep a 24 ounce supply.
The bill also specifically protects caregivers from “arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner,” and prohibits the denial of any “right or privilege, including imposition of a civil penalty or disciplinary action…for the possession or purchase of cannabis for medical use by the qualified patient if the quantity of cannabis possessed or purchased does not exceed an adequate supply for the qualified patient, as determined by the qualified patient’s physician.” Similar protections are also in place for physicians who recommend it to qualified patients.
Additional provisions make it illegal for a person to be denied entry to a school, a job position, visitation or child custody rights, or a lease with a landlord due to their use of medical marijuana.
HB78 protects the confidentiality of patients whose information is kept by the state Department of Health and Human Services by making it a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and attempts to prohibit it for any purpose. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says this clearly violates the Constitution.
“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference,” Maharrey said.
As more states take marijuana policy into their own hands, defying the federal prohibition, the federal government has become increasingly incapable of enforcing its unconstitutional prohibition. They simply lack the resources to stop the tidal wave. For those concerned about the health care and personal choices of people living in Virginia, this cannot come too soon.
Medical marijuana is an incredibly important issue pertaining to nullification and states’ rights. Because it is so overwhelmingly popular, medical marijuana can act as a metaphorical ‘gateway drug’ to the idea of state and local resistance to onerous federal laws. With this issue, it is possible to show the residents of your state that local control better serves the needs of the people than the top-down federal approach that has failed for so many decades.
Although it draws a legal distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, HB78 marks an enormous step in the right direction for both medical marijuana supporters and advocates of decentralized government in the state of North Carolina. It signals that the public is ready to throw off the shackles of ‘federal supremacy’ and take lawmaking into their own hands.
In North Carolina: Take the steps listed AT THIS LINK, to help support HB78.
In Other States: Contact your state legislators and politely demand that they introduce bills that push back against prohibition on medical or recreational cannabis. Start here.
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