Families hopeful as medical marijuana bill heads to NC Senate - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Families hopeful as medical marijuana bill heads to NC Senate

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RALEIGH, N.C. - Several families in North Carolina are keeping a close watch on what happens at the General Assembly.

Their children have epileptic seizures and traditional medicines haven’t worked. What has worked is a form of medical marijuana that is legal in some states like Colorado but not North Carolina.

Liz Gorman, whose 7-year-old daughter Maddie has seizures, moved from Raleigh to Colorado to have access to CBD oil, the marijuana extra, which helps Maddie drastically reduce her seizures.

It's possible North Carolina could follow Colorado.

The House overwhelmingly passed a measure that would legalize CBD oil, also called Charlotte's Web, for medicinal reasons on Thursday.

Gorman said Friday that the swift action by the House “made me feel very confident that they really understand and care about the needs of our children.”

But several steps remain. The bill must next pass the Senate and eventually be signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Sen. Louis Pate, a Republican from Wayne County, said the Republican caucus has not discussed the measure at all.

Pate is the co-chair of the Senate Healthcare Committee, which could be the next stop for the bill.

“It sort of tugs at your heart, to know of a child who is suffering very badly from a disease,” Pate said.

Pate isn't sure how the bill will be received in the Senate, but said lawmakers will take a good look at it.

Gorman hopes it's this session, so she and Maddie can come home to North Carolina soon.

“My husband is there. My home is there,” Gorman said. “North Carolina is my home.”

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