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RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – After the North Carolina Senate gave the OK for a medical marijuana bill to be passed on to the House of Representatives on Monday night, many North Carolinians are wondering what conditions need to be met to qualify for medical marijuana.

The measure received bipartisan support. The legislation creates a system whereby someone with 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 evidence that an applicant experienced one or more traumatic events. Acceptable evidence can be but is not limited to military service in an active combat zone, being the 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 that is related to end-of-life or hospice care or who is bedridden or homebound due to a condition
  • a terminal illness when the patient’s life expectancy is less than six months
  • a condition that results in a person receiving hospice care
  • any other serious medical condition or its treatment added by the Compassionate Use Advisory Board, which consists of 13 members that review petitions and have the power to add a new debilitating medical condition

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

Other qualifying conditions not included in Senate Bill 711 include:

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

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

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

Whether the House takes up the Senate bill in this short session remains to be seen. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) has not been encouraging, but the door is not completely closed. Moore has 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 doctor to recommend medical marijuana products for specified conditions and maladies with patients 18 and older being issued registry identification cards to verify their allowed use of the products.

Patients younger than 18 require a more stringent approval and treatment process.

There would be licensed dealers/vendors that would be open only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and smoking prohibitions would apply. The regulations are strict.

You can read Senate Bill 711 here.