Marlowe helps advance medical marijuana bill in North Carolina

Published 1:40 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jean Marlowe of Mill Spring is providing support for the first medical marijuana bill introduced in the N.C. General Assembly.

Marlowe, the executive director of the North Carolina Cannabis Patients Network (NCCPN), has worked with legal/legislative director Ben Scales, Esquire, of Asheville and outreach director Harold Watts to provide research science and patient testimony to state representatives in support of the bill.

Marlowe, who has faced both state and federal marijuana charges in the past, has battled for years to gain protection for people who use medical marijuana.

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The N.C. Medical Marijuana Act was introduced last week. Rep. Earl Jones (D-Guilford County) introduced the bill, along with sponsors Reps. Harrison and Mackey and co-sponsors Rep. K. Alexander and Susan Fisher.

The bill would provide safe, legal access to patients who have a physician&squo;s recommendation or approval. According to the bill, patients could not be refused employment, volunteer positions, organ transplants, child custody or visitation merely for being a medical marijuana patient, no more than other citizens are refused for their use of any other legal medication.

Adequate supply definitions in the bill would allow patients who possess a valid patient ID card to possess an amount to ensure an uninterrupted supply of their medication for the full growth period or 3 to 4 months, plus the right to cultivate their own medicine.

On March 9, 2009 the City of Greensboro, supported by efforts by NCCPN members, passed a resolution in support of medical marijuana legislation in North Carolina and asked the General Assembly to implement legislation to protect patients.

NCCPN has been working directly with the representatives to gather patients and their testimony for the General Assembly and to garner support for the legislation.

The bill also provides for a research program to be set up at Duke University to research the medical applications, efficacy and safety and to research illness-specific strains.

At present, 13 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to protect from arrest and prosecution patients who use cannabis as medicine with their doctor&squo;s recommendation or approval. Numerous other states have bills in their state legislatures to also protect their patients.