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In case you missed it, Mike Meno of the ACLU of North Carolina posted the following insightful essay last Friday about action by the state House to allow physicians to recommend an oil derived from marijuana for treating certain epilepsy symptoms:

Marijuana legalizationNC House Overwhelmingly Approves Marijuana Extract for Epilepsy, but Ignores Countless Others Who Could Benefit from Compassionate Laws

Yesterday, the North Carolina House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow neurologists to recommend an oil derived from marijuana compounds to certain patients suffering from epileptic conditions. The legislation was inspired in part by 7-year-old Charlotte Figi, who made national news on CNN for a chronic, debilitating condition that could be relieved only through the marijuana-based treatment. Charlotte suffered up to 50 painful seizures a day before her parents discovered that an oil derived from a strain of marijuana that was high in the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) but low in the psychoactive cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) virtually ended her seizures entirely and allowed her to live a happy and healthy life. Read More

MarijuanaState Rep. Pat McElraft deserves credit for expressing her intent to introduce legislation that would legalize the use of a specific kind of marijuana oil that has shown promise in treating an especially horrific illness that afflicts children.  The Republican lawmaker from Carteret County got emotional yesterday when she discussed the matter with WRAL’s Bruce Mildwurf. This is from Mildwurf’s online story:

“We’ve got to do this for them. It’s the only hope they have,” McElraft said as she choked back tears.

A good next step would be for McElraft and her colleagues to listen to the heartbreaking stories of any number of adults who have also found blessed relief from numerous forms of intense pain and suffering through the use of medical marijuana and to then think about addressing their needs as well. Read More

New report shows that in North Carolina, African Americans are 3.4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite equal use rates

State spent almost $55 million enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010; ACLU-NC says North Carolina needs to change failed laws

RALEIGH – According to a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union, North Carolina spent nearly $55 million enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010, while statewide African Americans were arrested for marijuana possession at 3.4 times the rate of whites, despite comparable marijuana usage rates. The report, Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests, released today, is the first ever to examine state and county marijuana arrest rates nationally by race. Read More