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NC medical marijuana bill faces strongest opposition yet

North Carolina’s medical marijuana legalization bill narrowly advanced out of a state Senate committee on Thursday, despite some vocal opposition.

Committees in the legislature don’t formally record lawmakers’ votes, but rather have them yell out how they’re voting. On Thursday, almost all of the Senate Health Care committee’s 15 members seemed to stay silent when asked to vote. One could be heard voting for the bill, and two could be heard voting against it.

But there might have been others who mumbled their support, because the bill passed anyway.

“Ayes have it,” said Republican Sen. Jim Perry, one of the committee’s chairs, formally sending the bill on to the Senate Rules Committee.

That will likely be the last stop for the marijuana proposal, Senate Bill 711, before it would go up for a vote before the full Senate — and then onto the House of Representatives if it passes. The bill is more or less guaranteed a warm welcome since the committee chairman, Republican Sen. Bill Rabon, is also the bill’s lead sponsor.

It did not receive a warm welcome Thursday, however.

Republican Sen. Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine contrasted the push for medical marijuana — which has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — with other recent headlines about COVID-19 vaccines possibly being more widely mandated after receiving full FDA approval. [Read More @ Raleigh News Observer]

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