US (NC): Senate approves MMJ regulatory appointment

A Republican North Carolina senator is making it clear that he intends to see his medical marijuana legalization bill pass this session despite some obstinance among GOP leadership in the House—and he’s even gone so far as to include medical cannabis regulatory appointments for the yet-to-be-enacted program in a new measure that passed the Senate last week.

But Sen. Bill Rabon’s (R) recent acts of defiance—including attaching an amendment to an unrelated House bill that makes its effective date contingent on his medical marijuana legislation becoming law—has ruffled some feathers in the opposite chamber.

“Any tactics that are perceived as heavy-handed, trying to force it, tend to have the opposite effect,” House Speaker Tim Moore (R) told WNCN-TV. “I’ve made it very clear if this bill were to come to the floor, I would support the medicinal use of cannabis. I think it has the right safeguards and protections, so I’m fine with it,” he said. “But, I’m not twisting my members’ arms to vote for it.”

Another GOP lawmaker who previously supported the reform now says he’s a firm “no” because of the Senate’s stunt, which he described as “pompous” and “self-centered.”

Rabon doesn’t seem especially concerned, however. While Moore says that he will not bring the cannabis legislation to the floor without majority support from the House GOP caucus, Rabon says that he hopes “some folks will kind of look up and pay attention now” after the Senate passed the other chamber’s unrelated nursing regulations bill with his medical marijuana amendment attached.


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