It's 4:20 somewhere; N.C. senators vote for medical pot at appropriate time
Some North Carolina legislators voted twice this week at an appropriate time — 4:20 p.m. — for legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical use in the state.
The state Senate voted 36-10 on Wednesday for the measure for the second day in a row. The bill would create a structure to identify qualifying patients and license those who would cultivate and sell cannabis.
Roll-call documents show senators voted on the bill Tuesday and Wednesday at exactly 4:20 p.m. on both days. The number “420” makes a reference to April 20, which is also known as “420 Day,” an annual day of celebration of marijuana.
Republican Sen. Bill Rabon, the bill’s chief sponsor and the Senate’s Rules Committee chairman, said Tuesday’s vote at 4:20 p.m. wasn’t deliberate, attributing it more to happenstance.
On Wednesday, however, he said it was in the back of his mind. The session was called to order a few minutes before 4:20 p.m., and Rabon didn't debate the bill: “I was watching the clock.”
Senate leader Phil Berger, who sits at the same desk as Rabon on the floor, said Rabon learned over to him on Wednesday and said: “'We're going to do it at 4:20 again today.'" Berger said he had little idea about what “420” meant.
It’s common for the Senate to hold voting sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 4 p.m. And the agendas were light both days this week.
The measure now goes to the House, which declined in 2022 to take up a nearly identical measure the Senate approved then. But House Speaker Tim Moore has said there's some support within his chamber for the idea this year.