The GOP-controlled North Carolina House Rules Committee killed a medical marijuana legalization bill earlier this week, after lawmakers complained that backers of the measure were bothering them with requests for their support.
As WRAL's N.C. Capitol blog reports, lawmakers allowed only 20 minutes of public debate on the legislation before deciding to give it an "unfavorable report." An infrequently used procedure, such an action effectively prevents any further medical marijuana legalization bills from being considered by the General Assembly this session.
A state Republican explained the extraordinary maneuver to N.C. Capital blog:
"We did it to be done with it, so people could move on for the session," said Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake. He said lawmakers we're being "harassed" with phone calls and emails about medical marijuana.
The medical marijuana movement has seen some support in North Carolina, and on Wednesday, Catherine Lyles, a 51-year-old brain cancer survivor testified before lawmakers, telling them that marijuana had allowed her to regain her appetite after treatment. Medical marijuana advocates reportedly heavily outnumbered the single opponent who appeared at the hearing, but lawmakers were apparently unmoved by the showing of support.