The debate over legalizing medical marijuana is not a new one, but it is going to be front and center in Raleigh Thursday. The House Health Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill that's been introduced to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. One Oak Island man is in full support of House Bill 1380, based on his own first-hand experience. "It's time we come out of the dark ages and look at marijuana as it is, a medicine, and not a hard core drug," said David Warren. David Warren is pushing for pot to be legalized in North Carolina, as an option for people suffering from debilitating medical conditions. It is already legal in 13 states. "Marijuana is not addictive. It's a drug that causes little side effects. I think people should have a choice in medicine," Warren said. Warren is in full support of House Bill 1380, which would protect seriously ill patients from getting arrested and going to jail for smoking marijuana if recommended by a doctor. Warren said, "Those who are sick don't belong in jail. They need to be treated with care, love, and respect." Warren uses his own experience to back up his case. He was arrested in 2005 for growing marijuana to smoke while being treated for Hepatitis C. He said he also suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and a seizure disorder. "I looked at the data, I looked at the studies, and I decided that rather than take narcotics, I would rather have something non-addictive." Warren said the law would tax those who grow marijuana for themselves or others, bringing those tax dollars into the Tar Heel state. He is happy to see the issue reach Raleigh, and said there is plenty of room for an open and fair debate. "I believe that God made the marijuana. I've never seen an Oxycodone bush," said Warren. The House Health Committee's public hearing is at noon Thursday in Raleigh.
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