North Carolina lawmakers again try to legalize medical marijuana

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Some Mecklenburg County lawmakers are trying once again to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina.

Their bill has failed to even reach a vote for years.

Eyewitness News reporter Jenna Deery asked why they would try it now when they only have weeks to get it through.

Chuck Furr said he has not used his wheelchair in about three years ever since he got off of prescription pain killers to help treat the side effects of multiple sclerosis.

“It wasn't as good as God's natural medicine,” Furr said. “You can't compete with natural.”

He's been taking cannabis and feeling better but he said using the illegal drug makes him feel like an outlaw.

He's already served 60 days in jail under $1 million bond for growing it.

He said it’s time to for North Carolina to join 25 other states and legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“This is my home,” Furr said. “I don't want to have to leave just to seek a flower.”

Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, has filed a bill to make it law every year since 2008 and he's trying again in this legislative short session.
"The reason why I filed the bill in the short session was to keep the issue alive and to keep it in front of members," Alexander said.
He said each time he files, he gets more supporters who he says realize the state could be making money from the drug instead of paying to prosecute patients like Furr.
"If we had started taxing in 2008, we would have by now collected several hundred million dollars in tax money," Alexander said.
The bill has to go in front of a committee before going to the House floor.

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