Advocates who urged the Finance committee to vote down the legislation expressed their main concerns that medicinal use could lead to recreational use.
The Rev. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League said Wednesday that, if medical marijuana is approved, it should be taxed similarly to tobacco and alcohol, rather than as a prescription drug.
Creech said he feared a statewide black market potentially emerging from N.C. medical marijuana centers, as he said has occurred in Colorado and Oregon.
Rabon, a cancer survivor, has said SB711 would not serve as a gateway to recreational marijuana use.
“Recreational marijuana use is not something we want in our state,” Lee said, but added that the prohibition should not keep North Carolina from doing the right thing for people with chronic and debilitating conditions.
Lowe has said bill sponsors reviewed legislation in piecing together SB711.
“We realized that, for some states, it has worked out well, while for others it was just a recreational product,” Lowe said. “That’s not the goal with this particular bill on our state.”
Some advocates for permitting medical marijuana criticize SB711 for being too restrictive on who can use it, and for not putting enough emphasis on the mental health aspect of debilitating health conditions.