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Dysart Willis

Is medical marijuana legal in North Carolina?

The status of marijuana is undergoing significant change in the culture of the United States. It is not happening fast. Indeed, the legacy of marijuana is such that the process of decriminalizing it is happening in incremental steps. Laws vary from state to state and marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. All that variation makes for some complicated situations if police and prosecutors choose to press drug charges.

The answer to the question posed in the title line of this post is that recreational marijuana use remains illegal in the state. Medical marijuana is allowed for limited use. But neurologists are reluctant to sign off on such treatment and those who could benefit say they are still cut off from access.

Apparently because of hurdles built into the law and also because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve any form of marijuana, whether it is in leaf form or non-psychoactive cannabidiol oil, doctors are steering clear.

According to many doctors, they feel stuck in the middle. Unsure of where the line is about what's legal and what is not, they are unwilling to put themselves at risk of facing possible criminal charges. Additionally, they say reliable information is so hard to come by that they feel unprepared to provide effective counsel to their patients.

Efforts are underway within the medical community to shore up the educational component for doctors. Meanwhile, only one facility in Mississippi can legally grow the plant for research, limiting study. Federal regulators say they're going to increase the number of growing sites, but actual study is still pending. Lacking that, experts say many doctors will likely remain prescription averse.

Where questions about the law and one's rights exist, consult with an attorney.