US (NC): "Even if the bill were to be approved, too many people would be excluded"

A bill advanced by state lawmakers this month seeks to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. But it excludes many of those who suffer from chronic pain. The measure passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support, but it has since stalled in the House and is unlikely to be taken up this year, according to the chamber's leader.

Even if Senate Bill 711 were approved and signed into law, Tedder and other cannabis legalization advocates fear too many North Carolinians with serious health conditions would be excluded. "It's just a shame that it's not necessarily going to be available to people like me," Tedder said.

Included in the bill are more than a dozen qualifying medical conditions, but chronic pain and glaucoma aren't among them due to concerns from lawmakers about limited research.

Tedder believes he and others could still qualify for a 30-day cannabis prescription under the measure's provision that labels those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying debilitating condition. But the proposal leaves many others out of luck, including residents without a doctor and those with one who won't affirm their medical condition.

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