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Medical marijuana bill stuck in N.C. House

Marijuana at a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.
David McNew
/
Getty Images
File: Marijuana at a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles.

Legislation to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina has gotten stuck in the House.

The bill has already passed the state Senate with bipartisan support, and if it’s brought up for a floor vote in the House, it likely has enough votes to pass.

But House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters he won’t let the bill move forward until a majority of Republican legislators agree to vote yes. So far, that hasn’t happened, although a majority in the GOP caucus have said they’d let the bill move to the floor.

The bill’s sponsor, powerful Republican Senator Bill Rabon, isn’t happy about the roadblock. On Wednesday, he added an amendment to an unrelated House healthcare bill to prevent it from becoming law unless marijuana legalization also becomes law.

“Maybe some folks will kind of look up and pay attention now. We have work to be done, we don’t need to stonewall.”

Rabon says he hasn’t ruled out using that approach on other bills to pressure House leaders to take action.