What conditions qualify for medical marijuana in the North Carolina Senate bill?

RALEIGH, NC (WGHP) – After the North Carolina Senate gave its consent for a medical marijuana bill to be sent to the House of Representatives on Monday night, many North Carolina residents wonder what conditions must be met to be eligible for medical marijuana.

The measure received bipartisan support. The legislation creates a system by which a person suffering from one of more than a dozen “debilitating medical conditions” can be prescribed cannabis.

Senate Bill 711 lists the conditions as follows:

  • cancer
  • epilepsy
  • ALS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • sickle cell anemia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • post-traumatic stress disorder subject to proof that an applicant has experienced one or more traumatic events. Acceptable evidence may be, but is not limited to, military service in an active combat zone, being a victim of a violent or sexual crime, or being a first responder. Details of the trauma will not be required.
  • multiple sclerosis
  • cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • severe or persistent nausea in a person who is not pregnant and related to end-of-life or palliative care or who is bedridden or housebound due to illness
  • terminal illness when the patient’s life expectancy is less than six months
  • a condition that requires a person to receive palliative care
  • any other serious medical condition or its treatment added by the Compassionate Use Advisory Board, which consists of 13 members who review requests and have the authority to add a new debilitating medical condition

Some conditions are missing from NC’s medical marijuana bill that are more common in states that have passed similar bills, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Other eligibility requirements not included in Senate Bill 711 include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • glaucoma
  • intense and chronic pain

More studies need to be done to verify the safety of medical marijuana. However, possible side effects could include increased heart rate, dizziness, impaired concentration, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Some medical marijuana is created to relieve symptoms without the mind-altering and intoxicating effects associated with recreational marijuana.

Whether the House will address the Senate bill during this short session remains to be seen. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) wasn’t encouraging, but the door isn’t completely closed. Moore said the issue may have to wait until next year.

The public supports the addition of medical marijuana, which is available to some extent in every state except North Carolina and Nebraska.

The bill would allow a physician to recommend medical marijuana products for specified conditions and illnesses, with patients 18 and older receiving registry identification cards to verify their authorized use of the products.

Patients under the age of 18 require a stricter approval and treatment process.

There would be authorized resellers/vendors that would only be open between 7am and 7pm, and smoking bans would apply. The regulations are strict.

You can read Senate Bill 711 here.

Norman D. Briggs