State Legislative Tracker: North Carolina legalizes medical marijuana for epilepsy

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June 30, 2014

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker takes a look at the legalization of medical marijuana in North Carolina. It is the second state in as many weeks to legalize some form of medical marijuana.

Weekly highlight

Last week, no state adjourned its legislative session. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • New Jersey: The New Jersey State Legislature passed a $34.1 billion budget Thursday afternoon despite a vow from Gov. Chris Christie (R) to veto its central measures. New Jersey is required by law to have a balanced budget by Tuesday, the start of the new fiscal year, but Democratic lawmakers are at odds with the governor on how to make up for a $1.7 billion decrease in revenue for the year, which was discovered in April. Christie has pushed for a deep cut in the state's contribution to its public pension system, much to the chagrin of Democrats, including Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who countered that Christie had promised to fund it when he signed a reform law granting a contractual right to a fully-funded pension. Christie acknowledged the effects of the cuts on retirees but argued that they are preferable to tax hikes or education cuts. Democratic proposals to increase the marginal tax rate on those making over $1 million per year to 10.75 percent from 8.97 for three years and the corporate tax rate to 10.35 percent from 9 for one year were passed along party lines in both chambers, although the latter attracted several 'no' votes from Democrats. Despite the certain veto, Democrats say they pushed the legislation through on principle. Public employee unions have already filed suit over Christie's promised veto, but were rejected by state judge Mary Jacobson last Wednesday on the grounds that despite the contractual right, the state's fiscal situation was too severe. When Christie vetoes the measures, the state's contribution to the pension system will decrease from $2.25 billion to $681 million.[1][2][3][4][5]
  • North Carolina: North Carolina is set to become the 24th state to allow some form of medical marijuana. House Bill 1220 allows for patients who suffer from intractable epilepsy access to cannabinol, or CBD, based medical marijuana oil. The bill received a unanimous 45-0 vote in the Senate and the House voted 112 to 1 to adopt the bill. The bill authorizes the sale of CBD only to patients that have registered their severe epileptic condition with the state. The bill only covers severe epilepsy and not other illnesses. Lawmakers focused the legislation on only one illness because of the worry that the legislation might leave the door open to legalizing other forms of the drug. The legislation also allows selected universities in the state to research the drug's effectiveness. The universities would be allowed to grow cannabis for the study. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) said on the bill's passing that, "I want to congratulate the General Assembly for crafting a bill that not only improves the lives of many North Carolina children and their parents, but also provides common-sense regulation and facilitates clinical research at our major research universities." McCrory is expected to sign the legislation.[6][7][8][9]

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of June 30, 2014
See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2014 session information.

Currently 7 out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session. One state, Virginia, is in special session. California is in special session concurrent with its regular session.

The following states have convened their 2014 regular session:[10]

The following states have adjourned their 2014 regular session:[11]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Thursday, January 29, 2015
There are 7,383 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,174 (43%)
Total Republican state legislators 4,081 (55.3%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 30
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 68
Total tied or nonpartisan chambers 1
2015 Session Information
Total Special Elections 10
Total Special Sessions 0

The California State Legislature is meeting in a special session concurrent with its regular session to discuss a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to change the state's rainy day fund. Brown's proposal would require the state to save some of the revenue from capital gains taxes. He hopes to have his proposal approved by the legislature and on the 2014 ballot. California's rainy day fund has existed since 2004 but has been empty for a majority of that time.[12]


The Virginia State Legislature is meeting in special session to try and pass an estimated $96 billion budget for the next two years. The session is not expected to end quickly, as Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the Republican-led House disagree over whether the state should accept further Medicaid funding from the federal government. This special session is required as the legislature failed to pass a budget during the yearly regular session. Should no agreement be reached by July 1, Virginia's government could shut down.[13]

In recess

As of today, June 30, there are two state legislatures currently in recess:[14]

See also: State legislative elections, 2014

A total of 87 of the 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections on November 4, 2014.

The 87 chambers with elections in 2014 are in 46 states. They are:

The Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and South Carolina senates also typically hold elections in even years. However, senators are elected to 4-year terms in those states and those will not be up for election again until 2016.

1,097 of the country's 1,972 state senate seats are up for re-election in November 2014, and 4,958 of the country's 5,411 state house seats are up for re-election. Altogether, 6,055 of the country's 7,383 state legislative seats are up for re-election on November 4, 2014.

Primary Information

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2014 state legislative elections

The state legislative filing deadlines and primary dates are as follows:

Note: Ballot access is a complicated issue. The dates in the table below are primarily for candidates filing for access to the primary. For more detailed information about each state's qualification requirements -- including all relevant ballot access dates for the primary and general election -- click to our detailed pages in the state column.

2014 State Legislative Primary Information
State Filing Deadline Primary Date Days from Deadline to Primary
Alabama Red padlock.png 2/7/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 116
Alaska Red padlock.png 6/2/2014[15] Red padlock.png 8/19/2014 78
Arizona Red padlock.png 5/28/2014[16] Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 90
Arkansas Red padlock.png 3/3/2014[17][18] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 78
California Red padlock.png 3/7/2014[19][20][21] Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 88
Colorado Red padlock.png 3/31/2014[22][23] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 85
Connecticut Red padlock.png 6/10/2014[24] Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 90
Delaware Red padlock.png 7/8/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 63
Florida Red padlock.png 6/20/2014[25][26] Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 67
Georgia Red padlock.png 3/7/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 74
Hawaii Red padlock.png 6/3/2014[27] Red padlock.png 8/9/2014 67
Idaho Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 78
Illinois Red padlock.png 12/2/2013 Red padlock.png 3/18/2014 106
Indiana Red padlock.png 2/7/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 88
Iowa Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 81
Kansas Red padlock.png 6/2/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 65
Kentucky Red padlock.png 1/28/2014[28][29] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 112
Maine Red padlock.png 3/17/2014[30] Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 85
Maryland Red padlock.png 2/25/2014[31] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 119
Massachusetts Red padlock.png 6/3/2014[32] Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 98
Michigan Red padlock.png 4/22/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 105
Minnesota Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 70
Missouri Red padlock.png 3/25/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 133
Montana Red padlock.png 3/10/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 85
Nebraska Red padlock.png 3/3/2014[33] Red padlock.png 5/13/2014 85
Nevada Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 88
New Hampshire Red padlock.png 6/13/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 88
New Mexico Red padlock.png 2/4/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 119
New York Red padlock.png 7/10/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 61
North Carolina Red padlock.png 2/28/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 67
North Dakota Red padlock.png 4/7/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 64
Ohio Red padlock.png 2/5/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 90
Oklahoma Red padlock.png 4/11/2014 Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 74
Oregon Red padlock.png 3/11/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 70
Pennsylvania Red padlock.png 3/11/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 70
Rhode Island Red padlock.png 6/25/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 76
South Carolina Red padlock.png 3/30/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 72
South Dakota Red padlock.png 3/25/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 70
Tennessee Red padlock.png 4/3/2014 Red padlock.png 8/7/2014 126
Texas Red padlock.png 12/9/2013 Red padlock.png 3/4/2014 85
Utah Red padlock.png 3/20/2014 Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 96
Vermont Red padlock.png 6/12/2014 Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 75
Washington Red padlock.png 5/17/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 80
West Virginia Red padlock.png 1/25/2014 Red padlock.png 5/13/2014 108
Wisconsin Red padlock.png 6/2/2014 Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 71
Wyoming Red padlock.png 5/30/2014 Red padlock.png 8/19/2014 81

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See also: State legislative special elections, 2014

There are no special elections scheduled this week. The next special election will take place on July 22 in Connecticut.

Connecticut House of Representatives District 122

See also: Connecticut state legislative special elections, 2014

Ben McGorty (R) defeated Arlene Liscinsky (D) in the special election.[34][35]

The seat was vacant following Lawrence Miller's (R) death.[34]

A special election for the position of Connecticut House of Representatives District 122 has been called for July 22. Candidates were nominated by their party rather than chosen through a primary.[34]

Connecticut House of Representatives, District 122, Special Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBen McGorty 75.3% 1,403
     Democratic Arlene Liscinsky 24.7% 459
Total Votes 1,862

Note: Results provided here are unofficial returns.[36]

July 22 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Arlene Liscinsky
Republican Party Ben McGorty

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • August 5: Texas State Senate District 4 (Runoff)
  • August 19: Virginia State Senate District 38
  • November 4: Louisiana House of Representatives District 97

See also


  1. The State-Ledger, "NJ Legislature sends state budget with pension payment, tax hikes to Christie," June 26, 2014
  2. Associated Press, "New Jersey lawmakers approve budget as veto looms," June 26, 2014
  3. The Inquirer, "Setting confrontation with Christie, legislature passes $34B budget with tax hikes," June 26, 2014
  4. Associated Press, "New Jersey judge OKs pension plan central to Christie's budget," accessed June 26, 2014
  5. The Star-Ledger, "NJ Senate passes state budget that makes pension payments, hikes taxes," accessed June 26, 2014
  6. Chicago Tribune, "North Carolina legislature approves limited medical marijuana use," June 26, 2014 (dead link)
  7., "Marijuana oil nears NC approval as seizure treatment," June 26, 2014
  8. MSNBC, "Medical marijuana oil bills approved in North Carolina, Florida," June 25, 2014
  9., "Marijuana Oil Close to Approval for Medicinal Use in NC," June 26, 2014
  10. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed June 30, 2014
  11. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed June 30, 2014
  12. Los Angeles Times, "Jerry Brown calls legislative special session to debate reserve plan," April 16, 2014
  13., "Virginia General Assembly returns for special session," March 23, 2014
  14. StateNet, " Daily Session Summary," accessed June 30, 2014
  15. Alaska Statutes, "Section 15.25, Nomination of Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. Secretary of State Website, "2014 Election Important Dates," accessed November 4, 2013
  17. Running for Public Office, "A 'Plain English' Handbook for Candidates," 2012 Edition, accessed October 21, 2013 (dead link)
  18. Arkansas Code of 1987, "Title 7, Elections," accessed October 30, 2013
  19. Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for the Office of State Senator, Member of the Assembly, "June 3, 2014, Primary Election," accessed October 21, 2013
  20. California Elections Code, "Section 8100-8107," accessed October 28, 2013
  21. California Secretary of State Website, "Key Dates and Deadlines," accessed October 21, 2013
  22. Colorado Secretary of State Website, "Major Political Parties FAQs," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. Colorado Revised Statutes, "Title 1, Elections," accessed October 31, 2013
  24. Connecticut Secretary of State Website, "Frequently Asked Questions, Nominating Papers," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. Florida Department of State Division of Elections, "2013-2014 Dates to Remember," accessed November 6, 2013
  26. 2013 Florida Statutes, "Section 99.061," accessed December 2, 2014
  27. Hawaii State Legislature, "HRS §12-6 Nomination papers: time for filing; fees", accessed May 22, 2013
  28. 2014 Kentucky Election Calendar, accessed November 12, 2013
  29. Kentucky State Board of Elections "Candidate Qualifications and Filing Fees" accessed November 26, 2011
  30. Maine Secretary of State "State of Maine 2014 Candidate's Guide to Ballot Access," accessed February 11, 2014
  31. The State Board of Elections, "Candidacy," accessed November 5, 2013
  32. 2014 Massachusetts State Primary and State Election Schedule, accessed December 2, 2013
  33. Official Election Calendar for the State of Nebraska, accessed November 18, 2014
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Connecticut Post, "Slate set for special state House election," June 15, 2014
  35., "McGorty wins 122nd District seat," July 22, 2014
  36. Shelton Herald, "UPDATED: State rep special election results by polling place," July 23, 2014