Virginia has joined the list of states to legalize the use of marijuana in small quantities. Now a bill has been filed in the North Carolina Senate that would allow some use of marijuana, but only for medical purposes.
Forsyth Democratic Sen. Paul Lowe is among a bipartisan group of sponsors of Senate Bill 711.
The measure would allow for marijuana use to treat pain, nausea, and other symptoms of diseases including cancer and HIV/AIDS. It would also set up a regulatory system for growers and sellers.
The bill would provide legal coverage for caregivers and their patients. It would not decriminalize marijuana for recreational use, and driving under the influence would still be illegal.
An Elon University poll from February found that almost 75 percent of North Carolinians surveyed approved of the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Support for recreational use is growing but still lags significantly behind its use for treatment.
This week, Virginia became the first state in the South to allow adults to legally possess and cultivate small amounts of marijuana whether for medical use or not.