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House | March 25, 2015 | Committee Room | House Judiciary I

Full MP3 Audio File

This is the Judiciary One Committee. It will l come to order. We’re delighted to have our pages. Today we have Amanda Cohn on Nash county, Amy Clemens of Wake county, and Mia Judkins of Wake county. We’re delighted to have you all here, hope you learned a lot today. We have for your protection, Mr. Barrymore, ??, and David Lenthem, our Sargent at Arms. There’s John if we need him. Today we’re going to take up House Bill 78, entitled, “Enact Medical Cannabis Act.” What we’re going to do is first of all let Miss Churchill explain the PC. Do I have a motion for the PC to be before the committee. Motion by Mr. Steinberg, all in favor say aye, opposed no. The ayes have it. Miss Churchill’s going to explain the bill, then we’re going to have those who would like to speak in favor or against the bill to speak for three minutes each. Then the committee will debate, hopefully in about an hour from now. Miss Churchill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. The PCS would establish a mechanism by which individuals in North Carolina could use for medical uses. It would do this by allowing a qualified patient, someone with a chronic the debilitating medical condition. If you’ll go on your PCS to page three, lines 16 through 41, it actually lists out all the medical condition that would allow someone to apply for a Registry Identification card in order to purchase and consume marijuana. Each qualified patient can also have up to two designated caregivers who must be at least 21 years of age, included with the ability to assist them in the medical use of marijuana. The marijuana can only be purchased by a—the licensed medical cannabis center, the medical cannabis center can only purchase from a licensed producer or a licensed cannabis infused product producer. The registry would be happening through the Department of Health and Human Services for the patient and the caregivers. The program to grow and produce medical marijuana would be licensed through the Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture would be medical care commission. For the registrant, the patient or the designated caregiver, there does not appear to be any fee to obtain the registration. They would need to actually buy the card, if they get the card and there were any changes, they would have to pay a ten dollar replacement fee. With that particular card for the user or the caregiver, it is valid for up to two years. On the licensure side, the Department of Agriculture would be licensing the sale centers, the growers, and the individuals who are producing cannabis infused products. Each of those carries with it a $5000 application fee. The license is valid for one year, renewal is an additional $5000. All of the employees of each of those individual licensees would also have to have an individual card issued to them at a cost of ten dollars apiece. If you participate in the program as a qualified patient, as a licensed sale center, or a licensed producer, you are entitled to certain immunities from prosecution. If you are doing it in compliance with the program. That would be prosecution from criminal charges, also any potential civil issues with any type of licensure by a professional or occupational licensing board, as well as an employer, and schools would not be allowed to prohibit the admission of students for the use of medical marijuana. There are tons of more details if you want me to go into them. It will also establish a five percent sales tax. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Miss Churchill.

From a number of people who would like to speak. Some in favor, and some against. We have the sign-up list, and I’m going to start with the first person who signed up, and that is CW4, Perry Parks. You have three minutes. Two minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Judiciary Committee, my name is Perry Parks. I’m a retired chief officer with over 29 years of military service. When I retired in 2003 and stopped taking the medications I was prescribed by Duke Pain Clinic, I was totally amazed at the total relief from pain that cannabis gave me. I don’t want to read all this, But I want to make two points this morning. This is from Time magazine. Eighty percent of our returning veterans have problems sleeping. I was addicted to Ambien for ten years. I have not taken one now for ten years, since I started taking the cannabis. This is Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He is a brain surgeon, a practicing brain surgeon. He said he was surprised at what he learned in Israel, treating soldiers with traumatic brain injuries. We have 260,000 veterans with brain injuries. If we know that cannabis helps the brain injury, how in God’s name can we not let the veterans have it? Two other things. Everybody worries Dr. Creech actually had Dr. Kevinsebbet give you an information page. Dr. Kevinsebbet is not a doctor, he is a Ph.D. in sociology. His facts are totally wrong. Overdose deaths the leading cause of death in people 18-34, the American Medical Association just did a study. I’d like to read one paragraph. In an analysis of death certificate data from 99-2010, we found the states with medical cannabis laws had lower mean analgesic overdose mortality rates compared with states without such laws. The finding persisted, excluding overdose deaths, suggest that the medical cannabis laws are associated with lower overdose death. The leading cause of death, ahead of car wrecks, so why don’t we lower overdose death rate? I really appreciate your time. I hope that instead of Kevinsebbet, you will look at documented scientific evidence. It is immoral to deny the veterans the right to use this medication. I give you my word, as an officer and a gentleman. It has provided incredible relief for me. As a Christian, I will not sit back and take the lies anymore, and the deception that occurred, if you look at Isaiah 10:1 “Woe be to those who create unjust laws that afflict my poor people.” [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. There’s no reason to clap, it won’t help or hurt anybody, but please don’t clap. I can read the name. Is it Jamie Hargett? Is that RAMP? Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, I’m very nervous. My name is Jamie Hargett. I am—my husband is one of the 100 percent military disabled. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The Mayo Clinic told us it was from chemical exposure in the Gulf War. So he maxed out on the Par;kinson’s meds that were available, and they did the deep brain stimulation surgery, which was fun—which really made a huge difference, but it only takes care of the symptoms He will soon lose his voice completely, among other things. I have Multiple Sclerosis, which we’ve been married for 24 years. We didn’t meet in a support group. The doctors said there was a potential from disease carryover from our ?? I have two kids. Parkinson’s and MS mixtures, I don’t know what’s going to happen to them down the road. Medical cannabis helps my husband. I’m the caregiver, I’ve got my mother-in-law helping us too. Medical cannabis needs to be available where he can function, and we can keep our family intact. We’re republicans, we started RAMP, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition. The government should not be involved in medical decisions--

between the doctor and the patient. This should be a viable medication. It was a medication for centuries before beginning prohibition in the 1930s. This is something that we need to look into. I’m a mentor with Care Coalition with the Wounded Warrior Project, and the amount of military veterans that cannot function, cannot leave their house, the interaction with the kids is absolutely incredible. I know that medical cannabis for him makes him a much better father. He is not as stressed, our relations with him are much better, so I implore you all, if you do not agree with this bill, if there are issues that are part of it, please work it out and discuss among yourselves. Let’s get a viable bill. 23 states have medical marijuana. All of the states currently have legislation in place and they’re working and discussing this. North Carolina needs to step up. For 10 years – over 10 years – medical cannabis has been in Colorado and other states with good results. We can do this and we can do it together and it can be beneficial again. It’s a plant that grows naturally; God gave it to us. It’s obviously not bad. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Christine Bacon. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Christine Bacon. Here’s my visual aide. Those are pain pill bottles. My name is Christine Bacon, and I am here to give a face to support House Bill 78. I am currently the caregiver of my husband, who spent 26 years in the U.S. army and 20 of that in special forces before medically retiring due to a host of ailments including PTSD and a traumatic brain injury otherwise known as TBI. Because he was being dosed with so many anti-inflammatories for his TBI, his kidneys became deficient. Then his GI tract began eroding because of his abundance of pills he was ingesting. He developed IBS, lost 20 pounds, and he was given more pills to control the nausea and vomiting. It was suggested by two Womack doctors, Fort Bragg doctors, that cannabis will be a viable option, so we took a trip out of state and we investigated. I was angry. I fought this. I am a Republican. I am not an Occupy Wall Streeter; I am not a liberal. I am a Fox News writer, I am a Christian, and I vote, but I also watched as my husband of 28 years was slowly disintegrating in front of me. He was depressed, he was in pain, and he was unable to leave the house, and then he would use this magical medicine, and he was compliant, and he was nice, and he wasn’t angry, and he was helpful an happy, and he left the house. It was like this one drug was a mixture of whiskey, valium, beta-blockers and Zoloft all rolled into one, and I did my research, and I found out that there are currently 22 veteran – 22 veterans suicides a day. This matters to me. Over and over again, marijuana is the drug of choice to get a grip on PTSD, especially when combined with therapy, and as Terry Parks stated, where legal medical marijuana is, there’s a lower 25% of overdoses. So yes, I am here. I am here for every family member of a service member who cannot stand before you. I am here because I am the one – I a m the one who will hold my husband’s hand when he is weak, and I am the one who will be here for him when he breaks, and I am the one that is here for him today, fighting for his right to control his directives with his medical marijuana, and I want to say a couple things in addition is that in Genesis it states that God gave us every plant and every living seed and it was good. That is from my Bible – my King James Bible, my… everything. American Standard… every Bible. And I am also a unique person. I grew up as a… I am an adult child of an alcoholic. I have watched alcohol destroy family member after family member, and I have watched as my uncle died of a heroin overdose. Medical marijuana… I’m sorry I’m over time, but I just… it means… I’m sorry. It very much means something to me.

gave me my husband back. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Diana-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Klausner. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Who wrote this stuff? I can't read it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, my name is Diana Klausner, and I'm originally from Germany, so I have a bit of an accent. If you don't understand something I'm saying, well, you are allowed to laugh if you like. I'm actually filling in for my husband today who can't be here with us. He just came back from Fort Eustis on Monday, and he's in incredible pain. So he gave me his testimony. He wants me to read it to you. I was injured in 2008 during my second tour in Iraq, when an improvised explosive device blew up my Stryker while crossing a bridge. I broke my back during this incident. (It was a close triple fracture of his spine.) I also received two head injuries during a ?? operation and have suffered from the following conditions: TBI (he actually has two different kinds of brain injuries; one is in the frontal lobe and one in the cerebellum); he has PTSD; anxiety/panic disorder; eye nystigmatism; partial loss of vision in his left eye; hearing loss in both ears, mostly on his right side, though. His migraines are actually so bad he has stated to me that if they would last for longer than a couple of seconds, he would kill himself. He also suffers from neuropathy of his left leg, long-term and short-term memory loss--there are entire years of our lives just gone, deleted. He cannot remember anything for longer than five minutes. I have to remind him of just about anything that needs to be done. And he also has a spinal-cord scarring from C7 down to L5, which is causing horrendous back pain. I have a list of medication he is taking, it's a list of 24 we have tried, failed, took in combinations that were healthy or not healthy. I'm not going to read all of them, but some of them included OxyContin, oxycodone, morphine, Valium, Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, naproxen. The list just goes on and on and none of them treated his condition successfully. At some point, he writes, I was addicted to my narcotics which had long stopped working. I was in pain and felt sluggish, suffered mostly from the side effects of the medication, and I no longer had a life. My husband, seriously, he can't move for more than ten minutes. I know I'm going over here, but he can't do anything physical for more than ten minutes, like sweeping or raking something without experiencing high levels of pain. So basically I'm constantly stuck with everything so now you're creating a patient here and stressed-out spouse on the other side. I also have children who need care, but that's a different subject. And he writes he researched the cannabis topic and there was finally hope, and he's not for breaking the law-- [SPEAKER CHANGES] I apologize, but you need to wind it up, we've got a lot of people... [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, anyway, he tried--the cannabis reduces his pain by 30% to 40%, which is huge for us, and the next thing is, and I really want to get this out, I'm also the mother of a child with epilepsy. That CBD oil law that went into effect doesn't work for any of us. So now I have a double whammy and nobody's doing anything about it. So we would like to ask you to consider that bill and fix it somehow by passing something. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Pamela McDaniel. There's a lot of people who would like to speak, so if it's possible, try to limit your remarks to two minutes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] At 12 PM today, some of you witnessed why my husband, my son, and I are here today. My son, Madison McDaniel, is 29 years old and one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. He rarely complains or whines, even though he has plenty of reason. In September 2009, a driver turned left in front of us at point-blank range and totaled our minivan. The next day, Madison started having memory-loss episodes. Gradually, the memory loss

those episodes became associated with complex partial seizures and sometimes grand mal seizures. When Madison seizes, as some of you heard, he screams loudly, often kicks one leg violently, falls down quickly if standing up, and doesn't know who he is or what is going on for several minutes afterwards. He is seeing neurologists at UNC and Duke under who's guidance he has tried and found 15 prescription anti-epileptic drugs. He actually had a life threatening reaction to the Lamictal. Madison has also seen neurosurgeons at UNC and Duke. Epilepsy surgery is not recommended for a number of reasons, a vagal nerve stimulator would not be effective enough to allow Madison an improved quality of life. Madison has tried many dietary restrictions and supplements, been treated by an acupuncturist at UNC, and is seeing an arthropathic physician, yet he usually has about 60 of these horrible seizures a month. One month he had 115 seizures, 29 of those were in one day. He has to be accompanied at all times, even to the bathroom and to take a shower because he has seized and fallen on more than one occasion, hitting various parts of his body including his head. We are asking you to approve this medical cannabis act because Madison has no other good options left. He just wants a chance at a decent life, to be able to go the bathroom and take a shower by himself, to be capable of holding down a job. We have discussed, at length, leaving North Carolina for a state where Madison could try medical marijuana and hopefully get his life back but we love North Carolina and would much rather stay here in the state that we love, near the people we love. Madison needs a decent life. Please give him that chance. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Dana Beneway. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hi, my name is Dana Beneway, good afternoon. I'm not here to preach to you about the medicinal purposes of cannabis. I believe that the research has already proved that. If you are sitting here before me you know that you're not a democrat right now or a republican, you're a humanitarian. I am just going to let you know that I spent the last 18 months in California and Colorado learning everything related to cannabis. I worked in their laws, I worked in their civics, dispensaries, warehouses. Regulation can work. I was very surprised to see two very different approaches to regulating cannabis. I just want you to know that our attorney has written a very reasonable bill that works very well for North Carolina. I was actually fortunate enough to work with Jeff Jones, the co-writer of the Compassionate Use Act, or Proposition 215. They have been issuing medical cards for 19 years now. He also own the patient ID center in Oakland, California. There, I issued medical cannabis cards to patients. At the ID center, emphasis was on education, about your state laws, your county laws, and where to obtain safe access to cannabis. I believe everybody should have that right. I was also in Colorado, they have the MED there, Marijuana Enforcement Division, a very, very different way of regulating cannabis but it worked. There's 23 states that have taken such measures, North Carolina needs to hear the collective voice of her citizens. If the people had their say it would already be law. HB78 will create many job opportunities, significant tax revenue, but more importantly compassionately giving medical adult patients access to a medicine that has proven to alleviate many illnesses and the side effects of illnesses, symptoms of illnesses, I'm sorry. As an adult, I can choose to smoke cigarettes, I can ingest alcohol and be trusted to know my personal limits and to act responsibly. I want adult medical patients to have the right to ingest cannabis responsibly. Educate yourselves, vote on the facts, and act responsibly. It's time for North Carolina to join the 21st century. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Jared Royal. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir, thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee. My name is Jerry Royal and I represent the North Carolina Family Policy Council. I speak today in opposition to House Bill 78. The purpose of our laws is to protect the safety, health, and welfare of our citizens.

Federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule one controlled substance under the control substances act. According to the act, this classification is based on three factors. It's high potential for abuse, it currently has no acceptable medical use in treatment in the United States, and there's a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug, even under medical supervision. A May 2014 report from the US Drug Enforcement Administration states that with marijuana, there's no standardized composition or dosage, no appropriate prescribing information, no quality control, no accountability for the product, no safety regulation, and no way to measure its effectiveness besides anecdotal stories. The US Food and Drug Administration website currently states the FDA does not approve marijuana as a safe and effective drug for any indication. The known safety concerns of marijuana include impairment of short term memory, altered judgment and decision making, and mood effects including severe anxiety and even psychosis, especially following high dose exposures. Marijuana also significantly reduces motor coordination and slows reaction time, which is particularly dangerous when operating a motor vehicle. Growing evidence shows that marijuana may be particularly harmful for young people causing long term or even permanent impairment in cognitive ability and intelligence when used regularly during adolescence. In fact, as recently as January 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed its opposition to the legalization of marijuana because of the potential harm to children and adolescents. Similarly, the American Medical Association continues to believe that Cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern and should not be legalized. I therefore encourage you to vote against House bill 78. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. ??. Mr. James? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Bashondra James. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That's right. I'm sorry, I can't pronounce it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hello. My name is Bashondra James. Thank you, speaker of the House, all of the Representatives here. I have a rare genetic disease called Ehlers-Danlos Type 3 with vascular association. It affects my heart, my kidneys, my livers. I sublux, I break my bones without any rhyme or reason. It can happen any time. I also am prone to having seizures, and it can happen without anything going on. I can be walking to the bathroom. I can be talking, and I will end up having a seizure on the floor. Last year, I was on 60 different medications. None of them worked. I've had 17 surgeries. My last one was on March 2 of this year. Due to have another one on April 10. The only thing that has allowed me to maintain my quality of life is Cannabis. Last year, I was in a hospital for months, unable to eat anything solid. They wanted to put a feeding tube in me, which I refused because I knew with the help of Cannabis that I would be okay. I am a Christian. My mother is a minister. I am a conductive member of society. I pay my taxes. I have never been in trouble. I love this state, and all I ask is to be able to live it, and to live it with a quality that will allow me to have some sense of peace in knowing that my end days are not gonna be just laying in bed and being a zombie. Last thing I would like to state, both of my children have passed away because of this disease that I fight each and every day, and I would not want that to happen to anybody. I ask that you search your moral compass, each and every one of you. Look deep within yourself, whether you have a problem, a family member. This bill can help save lives, and if you don't believe it, I dare you to try it. I dare you to try it. I dare you to look at the research. I dare you to look at the facts. Forget what you know. Forget what you think, and look at the facts. That's all I ask. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rebecca Forbes. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Honorable chairman and members of the committee. My name is Rebecca Forbes. I'm not gonna spend a whole lot of time talking about my illness and the evidence that I

The medical cannabis works. Many of you know me. I have been down here lobbying since 2009 for medical cannabis in this state. And I have made most of my medicine in my own kitchen. I stand here today because I was diagnosed in February of 2014 with diffused and follicular large ?? cell lymphoma. I have since received some chemo at Duke, and I am six months cancer clear right now. So I stand here for cancer, and medical cannabis. I’ve used medical cannabis oil since 2010 and I stand here alive today and about to see my second grandchild born. Annual deaths from tobacco are at 435,000. Annual deaths from poor diet and exercise are at 365,000. Alcohol kills 85,000 per year, and that’s legal. Prescription drugs kill 32,000 people per year. I take no prescription drugs, I eat a good diet, and I take cannabis oil, and that’s it. Motor vehicle crashes kill 26,000 people a year, homicide, 20,000,. Aspirin, 7,600. Peanuts, 100. Cannabis, in the history of all time, has killed zero people from its use. And I think that ?? here. Cannabis is a plant that was given to us by God, and cannabis is non-toxic. It has never killed anyone in its natural form. The pharmaceutical remakes like demironal pills, trymaponol, epidiolex, a lot of people are sitting around waiting on leaders like you to legalize cannabis, have killed people, but the natural plant itself has not, and I ask you please, in the name of all this cancer, please pass House Bill 78. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Miss Forbes. Helen Monroe. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hello, Mr. Chairman, Representatives, fiends here. My name is Helen Monroe, I’m 85 years old. I have been a voting republican more than 60 years, and up until the last couple of years, I was opposed to medical marijuana. My arthritis, and a degenerating disc in my back cause me so much pain I can hardly walk. Now I can walk and sleep pain-free, and—I’m sorry, I get emotional when I talk about this. Let me check my notes here. I don’t even ride the grocery cart in the grocery store anymore, because I can walk. It really is a wonderful thing. I don’t smoke cannabis or marijuana. I use the cannabis oil topically and orally. There are so many people who are much worse than I, who need help—little children with seizures. And if looked on your computer, check Google, and go check where these children need to be helped, and if people with cancer, there are just a lot of people who need to be helped. They suffer from all kinds of debilitating things that can be helped with this cannabis. There’s a great need for cannabis to be legally available to all who will be helped by this wonderful, God-given, natural plant. Please pass this bill along to the Health Committee, and make this medicine available to the citizens of North Carolina. Thank you for allowing me to speak to you today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Gina ?? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hi, my name in Jenna, and I have a very rare genetic disorder. I’m sure you’ve never heard of it before, it’s called ?? I have a friend over here with it, also. It is rare, and I think there are three of us in here that I know of, and this helps us. I was on so many pharmaceuticals, I had my pharmacist coming to me saying, “you have to get your liver checked.” I had my doctors checking my liver. I mean, I was--

out the Tylenol and the narcotics to be able to get some relief, but in our genetic condition, we don't process pharmaceuticals the same. We process them very fast, so where someone might get four hours of relief from something, I'll get about an hour. So then I have to take it four times as often as someone else, and that will kill someone. Cannabis won't kill anyone. It gave me my life back. I'm still fighting it, I'm still having trouble with the digestive side, but that's okay. It's given me my life back. I'm able to eat in the evenings. I have a daughter with severe migraines. I've taken her down the route of all the pharmaceuticals. She's been out of school for two weeks last year because she had a neurological reaction to a medicine. I don't know if you've ever seen a neurological reaction, but a 17-year-old child who can't walk and can't cognitively speak to you is very scary. And I know that there's this one thing out there that would help her and we can't do that right now. I'm not going to risk her getting in trouble for this, but she needs it. So I just implore you, please do the research. If you just type in in your computer "cannabis cures" or "cannabis helps," it helps everyone. It can help everyone in some way. So thank you so much for this bill. I truly appreciate it, and I appreciate you taking the time to listen to us and I really hope we can find a way to move forward with this. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Rasta fari? Is that correct? [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name is Rasta Fari, thank you. Happy to be here today to just basically open a can of worms that nobody wants to talk about. The endocannabinoid system. I can tell by the looks on just about everybody's except for maybe the people behind me's face, that you all have never heard of the endocannabinoid system. Well, the endocannabinoid system is a system that is in each and every one of our bodies in this room. Now, the endocannabinoid system functions on cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are only found in cannabis. Cannabis is the oldest known medicine known to mankind, and up until Nixon, who wanted to keep the hippies off the White House lawn, was okay for medical purposes. I'm speaking for my generation that has been misled, misguided, by lies and propaganda. Now we're not going to speak on where that came from, because I'm pretty sure everybody knows. But I'm not here to talk about that. I'm here to talk about the facts. Colorado is worth a billion dollars as we speak. Now, as a North Carolinian, I feel like I should have the right to be able to enjoy my life as far as monetarily. I pay my taxes. I'm a student. I'm doing the best that I can as a citizen. I feel like there's other people out here that maybe feel the same way, but because they've been lied to and promulgated, they're going with the fear instead the knowledge. And I'm just here to ask you all to do your research, you know. It's not all about the euphoria. It's about what it actually does to heal people, mentally and physically. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Joseph Malinowski. I'm sorry if I mispronounced you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hi, my name is Joseph Malinowski. I'm 44 years old. I'm a left-leg amputee, lost my leg when I was 15 years old. When I was 30 I was diagnosed with cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma and MS, multiple sclerosis. We beat cancer, but it did damage to my body where I was put on opiates. I was on OxyContin, 80 mg., three times a day, for 13 years. I moved to North Carolina, and I never left my house. I never experienced what this state had to offer. Two years ago, my son said to me, Dad, why don't you try marijuana to get off this OxyContin, because I didn't like what it was doing to me. I was totally against it. I'm a DARE baby, okay? Marijuana was bad. That's what they told us, and I believed it. Well, my son said try it. So I did. And within three months, I got off of OxyContin, after 14 years. Doctors couldn't do it. I stopped cold turkey. I have a life now. This state is unbelievably beautiful, and the people here, I love you. I'm from New Jersey, which is--I mean if you know about it, come on. Cannabis has helped me so much in the last two years, but the problem that I have is I've been arrested four times. I have four convictions for marijuana--simple marijuana possession. I'm not a drug dealer. I take it and I use it appropriately. I weigh it out. Because I have a scale, now I'm considered a drug dealer.

And I did 21 days in Harnett county jail last year, because I needed to take my medicine. I was in my house when an officer came to the house and saw it on my table and said, "Joe we have a problem.” I said, “This is my medicine, this is what I take to help me.” Didn’t help. I spent 21 days in Harnett county jail. First time in my life I’d been in any kind of trouble. But this helps me, I think it can help a lot more people, and I thank you for listening to my story, and I’m sorry if I rambled on a little bit. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Rev. Mark Creech. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I thought it was first come first served, sir. I was here this morning guardian of the list from the time it was-- and Dr. Creech did not come in yet. It’s his rule. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I’m Rev. Mark Creech., executive director of the Christian League of North Carolina. I was a pastor for 20 years bef0re taking my current position, and I’ve seen sickness, terrible pain, and terminal illnesses as people suffering so badly they’d do almost anything for a release. And I genuinely care about those who are afflicted. The Christian faith is deeply concerned with these things, but the same Christ who commanded compassion also commanded that we be wise. We’ve heard a great deal of testimony in favor of the use of marijuana as medicine, but may I suggest that we don’t determine medicine by the whims of the electorate, or even legislative committee. The issue of medical marijuana even goes far beyond our sympathies. We require instead that a proposed cure go through the rigorous testing of the scientific process, much research and investigation, and the study of marijuana and its medical potential by the medical community thus far is not favorable to it as medicine. The American Psychiatric Association says, and I quote, “There’s no current scientific evidence that marijuana is in anyway beneficial in the treatment of any psychiatric disorder.” The American Medical Association voted last year to reaffirm its official position that quote, “Cannabis is a dangerous drug, and as such is a public health concern.” End of quote. The American Society of Addiction Medicine declares, “Controlled substances are drugs that have recognized abuse potential” and it names marijuana as one of them, and a major cause of drug dependence in the US and around the world. What about marijuana for cancer? The American Cancer Society’s position is that the American Cancer Society does not advocate the use of inhaled marijuana, or the legalization of marijuana. What about it for glaucoma? The American Ophthalmological Society says no scientific basis for it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Rev. Creech, if you would wrap it up please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] The concept of medical marijuana essentially violates every sensibility of the way people in our country believe medication ought to be approved and dispensed. Testimonials are not science, emotions or even compassion don’t trump wisdom. We urge you to vote against the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Paul Brooks? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon, Chairman. My name is Paul Brooks. In 2006 I was diagnosed. I started falling down, couldn’t walk straight. There were a bunch of medical tests. There were two tumors on my brain. One five millimeters, one twelve millimeters. I lost some facial muscles in my face, and I started having 3-5 seizures a day. I’ve been on Depakote, the Wellbutrin, all the medications, nothing helped. I started eating Cannabis oil, Vaporized cannabis. I haven’t had a seizure in seven months. I have medical proof from my neurologist that my tumor is shrinking. It’s down to nine millimeters, which is taking pressure off my seventh Carotid artery, which is no longer giving me seizures. When I was on all the pharmaceutical medications, I was lethargic, I couldn’t function, and this has been a big help in my life, and I’m in favor of the bill, and I would ask that you pass it. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Zachary Horn? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good evening, my name is Zachary Horn.

HEDGQV [0:00:00.0] And I represent several North Carolina farmers including agriculture and big tobacco, they are unfortunately loosing their farms at this time with vaporizing and everything else is going on, they would love to see a importer for into this and assuming the fact that we have a very large textile industry in North Carolina and can pretty much out and due in every aspect as far as longevity and softness, the quality of consideration, I also am a holistic and Native American, we have used Marijuana or Tenvis for quite some time now and many different avenues it’s kind of a joke on the reservation that everyone find it to be such iconic when we consider a flower. A lot of us use this for seizures, chronic pain problems; there are different ways to bump up the THC or down the THC depending on the process that you use. So if someone doesn’t want that head high, they want to go into work ?? impaired, you can actually decrease that by decarboxylating the plant which will get rid of the water molecules in it and able it to digest in your body more properly. We have also noticed that when we add soy and the cognac oil and this will also increase the ability to have now stomach issues disappear, increase bone activity, we have actually noticed patients with bone issues that were told they were never going to have any kind of relief, see relief. I very urge you to please do your research to please look into a cabined area of the human brain, to please understand that our people have been using this for quite some time and the rest of the world should as well, thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Scott Louis. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name is Scott Louis, as you guys look at me my brain tumor grows and it’s still growing, as you look at me my eye contact I take 19 pills a day, I take my pills from seizures because my brain tumor is inoperable. So it lefts out of my body by only sakes for example, last weekend many people or people that have no experience with seizures during the four hour seizure would go to the hospital, for me I hold my wife’s hand, I cannot do anything about my brain tumor, I would like to try something other than 19 pills a day to control my seizures, to get back to work, to walk my dog that I haven’t had someone with me. 19 pills a day, how come I cannot try this flower, who are you to tell me that my quality of life now is acceptable, it is not acceptable, as you look at me my brain tumor grows, my quality of life decreases, I have a nine year old son, who are you to tell me that I can’t use Tenvis and I don’t mean this is a personal attack because I hope you guys will look at this favorable. But as you look at me my brain tumor grows, my wife shortens, my doctors are wonderful, they are very supportive, my family is very supportive, the state of North Carolina is not, all I want to do just fight my cancer my way. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Tami Fitzgerald. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Tami Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, legalizing Marijuana for medical purposes is both unnecessary and a slippery flow, we oppose House Bill 78, it could open the door to legalizing Marijuana for recreationally use which we do not want in the state. A study published by the neuro-psycho pharmacology journal said that the pills containing THC, the active ingredient in Marijuana last longer and is safer than smoking part. The pill used is FDA approved, part is not. The pills longer the work but it affect last much longer both forms of the drugs significantly increase pain tolerance and were equivalent that controlling pains. Now, a study done in August, 2014 called the “Legalization of Marijuana…” [0:05:00.4] [End of file…]

In Colorado, shows how legalizing medical marijuana leads to legalization for recreational purposes. Colorado passed medical marijuana and then 6,000 ?? medical marijuana, 6,000 medicinal patient applications were filed in the first seven years. By the end of 2009, Colorado had an additional 38,000 applications for medical use. In 2010 their legislature passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana dispensaries. Marijuana cultivation operations etc. By 2012, over 108,000 registered patients and 532 licensed dispensaries existed. Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana for recreational use. In 2012, and since then, they’ve had an increase in impaired driving incidents regarding traffic fatalities and DUI arrests, an increase in youth marijuana use, an increase in adult marijuana use, an increase in emergency room visits, and an increase in hospitalization related to marijuana use. The number of interdiction seizures, where people try to send marijuana out of the state, has increased by more than four times. We ask you not to pass this bill. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGES] At this time, we want to call the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Kelly Alexander, to discuss the bill. And after he concludes, we’ll have a discussion among the committee, and then we’ll vote. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’d also like to invite my co-primary sponsors Representative Harrison, Representative Carney, Representative Cunningham to come forward. I’m going to be fairly brief. We’ve heard a lot from the opponents of this bill, about its lack of medical use. We’ve heard a lot about it being a schedule 1 substance. I have here in my hand a book produced by the Institute of Medicine, that’s the United States Institute of Medicine. It’s called “Marijuana and Medicine, Assessing the Science Base.” Now I’m not going to monopolize the members of the committee, your time, by reading this entire 248 page document to you. However, I do want to lift up a couple of items from the executive summary. Now, what they have done in the executive summary, is to tackle each one of the major concerns that people have about the use of cannabis as medicine. And in each one of these subsections, they have come to some conclusions, a series of conclusions, and I would urge, if you are looking for unbiased information about medical use, this is the document that you should be reviewing. Now, in the executive summary, under the title, “Effects of Isolated Cannaboids”. Thank you. That twists me up every time. It says, “unlikely to have a natural role in pain modulation, control of movement and memory.” When we go over to a section that talks about how the effectiveness of the drugs, the first conclusion is scientific data indicates the potential therapeutic value of cannabidiol drugs, particularly the THC--

Pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting and appetite stimulation. Now, they also say that smoked marijuana is a crude THC delivery system and also may deliver harmful substances. Please note that in many of the testimonials that you've heard today from people, they haven't talked about smoked cannabis. They've really talked about cannabis oils. They've talked about using it in ways other than the stereotypical notion that you may have when you think about, you know, the old Cheech & Chong movies or the, who was it, Kumar . . . [SPEAKER CHANGES] Harold and Kumar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Harold and Kumar, yeah, running around. You know, that is not what this is about. Not at all. Now, that's the medical issues. Now for those of you on the committee who are interested in dollars and cents, I have here a copy of Business North Carolina who, last year, did a report entitled "Statewide," that's referring to North Carolina, "Going to pot." And it talked about pot as a crop. Now, I notice some of you are on the Agricultural Committee and have been prominently talking about your rural constituencies. This article says that, right now, as we are here this morning, that marijuana is the number five crop in this state in value. Let me see here. It says about $637.4 million in value right now, all of that untaxed. I submit to you that it would be better to bring all of this into the regulated environment as opposed to allowing it to stay in the unregulated environment. The referrals as we have right now would have this bill going through at least four other committees, which guarantee that it will be vetted and vetted and vetted, and there's nothing about this bill that in this kind of process cannot be discussed and negotiated until we get to a proper place. And lastly, I want to remind you that 20 some odd states have already done this. We're not plowing new ground. What we are doing in investigating this is trying to bring North Carolina up to the 21st century in this particular area. Somebody asked me why I've been so adamant about this measure. Well, I've been adamant about it because it works. I've been adamant about it not only because it works, but because there are ways that we can control it so that it does not go into the general market. And this is not about recreation. A lot of folks wave that red flag about recreation. This is about medicine. This is about doing things to help sick people get better. This is about improving the lives of the 800,000 veterans that are in North Carolina right now. And as I always remind folks, you should never let a politician get up and talk. And because of that, I'm going to step aside and allow my co-sponsors to talk to you so that you members of the committee will have an opportunity to thoroughly discuss this. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. What I want to say about the cannabis oil.

and about the use of cannabis is that as a healthcare professional in the state of North Carolina for over 35+ years, my last years I worked in hospitals, so I know what it is to see people dying in pain, but I did receive this book from the American… I have to flip it over so I can see it. From the American Cannabis Nurses Association. I received it once I got here, and that was 2012, and what it says is, quote, “In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than any foods we commonly consume. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically-active substances known to man. By any measure of the national analysis, marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.” And that was drug enforcement agent chief administrative officer law judge Francis John, so I am in full support of the passing of the legislation, and I ask for your support. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We have two more. Could you just be, like, one minute? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I’m quick. I’m quick. It’s very difficult to follow the compelling testimony you offered from the folks who came in, but I’ve had numerous conversations with the doctors over at the Brain Tumor Center over at Duke, which we know is the premier brain tumor research center in the world, and they told me about how important they thought the access to marijuana versus the synthetic Marinol, which I think that might be the pill that ?? was referring to, and how much more effective actual marijuana is, and how often they thought about their patients that were becoming criminals because they were getting away from this Marinol, and it’s not just the systematic relief; it’s also the therapeutic value of cancer-killing agents, and I just can’t believe that we can’t join the 23 other states in this country and pass medical marijuana, so I would urge you to consider a favorable report. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you all. First of all, I want to say a deep gratitude vote or comment to our Chairman. For those of you in the room speaking today, this is huge. That you’re even here today being allowed to speak before a judiciary one committee, that’s a big step, so it’s not a defeat, and I want to thank Representative Daughtry for this opportunity. I’m asking you each as the committee members to take this information, look at it from its medical perspective, look at it at the standpoint of what you’ve heard today, but did deeper into the research. Many people have asked me why did I get on this bill this year, and many people who know me know that I’ve experienced a medical trauma in my life. I haven’t had to endure what the people in this room have, but I will tell you from that experience, my emails constantly, my phone calls constantly, when I’m on the street and people know me, have been about options. This has been an issue that was raised to me, brought to me, by citizens in this state all ages, and to the lady in the back, the 85-year-old who spoke, you were very eloquent, and you bring that faith and that message that I’ve been hearing that has caused me to do the research and start looking at the medical benefits. I will tell you from what I’ve read and what I’ve heard, it works. We need to have our professionals in this state, we need to have our hospitals, we need to have our research people at our university campuses across the state to come together and embrace where is North Carolina headed with this. In the seventies when Nixon had his big anti-drug war, that’s when marijuana became classified the way it did, so the time has come for us to move forward, and I think, Mr. Chairman, our premier sponsor wants to say something, so thank you all. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, thank you. Members of the committee, I have conferred with the other primary sponsors, and we’ve decided to pull the bill at this time in order for us to continue to work on it. Thank you for your consideration. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I don’t think you have the authority to pull the bill. We’ve heard it, and now it’s time to vote. Do I have a motion? Representative Arp. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I make a motion for an unfavorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hear the motion. All those in favor of the motion, let it be known by saying “aye”. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Aye. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All opposed, “no”. The ayes have it.