Medical marijuana faces uphill climb to be legalized in N.C.

VoteWhen a nation’s policies are at the bottom… it’s all an up hill battle. Fight on! James Bell

It didn’t get a lot of attention, ended abruptly and took a back seat to the likes of tax reform and the budget, but the issue of medical marijuana legalization in North Carolina did get a hearing this year in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Rep. Kelly Alexander Jr., D-Mecklenburg, sponsored a bill he said would have “permitted dispensaries to be created in North Carolina, and would have permitted it (medical marijuana) to be taxed and appropriately regulated.”

His efforts were quickly shut down – but not before a brief hearing.

“It got one of the fastest hearings in the Rules Committee of the long session, and it was reported out unfavorably from Rules after about 15 to 20 minutes of discussion,” Alexander said. “By putting it on the ‘unfavorable calendar,’ that pretty much meant you’d have to get a two-thirds vote to pull it off the calendar and get it considered on the floor, which of course didn’t happen because the majority leadership wasn’t in favor of that.”

Parking the bill on the unfavorable calendar also means it cannot be considered again during the two-year session, though a restructured measure could get a hearing if there is political will.