Pubdate: Wed, 11 Jun 2014
Source: Morganton News Herald, The (NC)
Copyright: 2014 Media General Inc.
Author: Tyler Johnson


MORGANTON, N.C. -- With the hot sun beaming on his back and sweat 
gathering on his forehead, Jason Humes marched along Fleming Drive 
carrying a skateboard in one hand and a sign in the other.

Humes walked through the heat Tuesday, not for himself, but for 
others to have a choice - the option to legalize the medicinal use of 
marijuana in North Carolina.

Humes and five other members of the March Against Fear 2014 group are 
walking from Asheville to Raleigh along U.S. 70 to raise awareness 
for House Bill 1161 - a bill that has been referred to as the North 
Carolina Medical Cannabis Act.

"We are trying to raise awareness about House Bill 1161 to let the 
people decide whether or not they want to have medical marijuana in 
the state of North Carolina," Humes said. "I think it's anyone's 
right to decide what they want to put in their own bodies. We all own 
ourselves, no one owns anyone else and we're all free. But, the 
deeper issue here is that there are people that are really sick and 
really don't have anything to help them feel good in life. Cannabis 
can help those people."

Humes gave examples of individuals with cancer and other serious 
illnesses as those in which marijuana could help.

Humes said the reception of the group's march has been positive thus far.

"(Sunday and Monday) we encountered about 130 people honking at us 
(with support)," said Humes. "Mostly, the reaction has been extremely 

Humes said during their march, a woman stopped to talk with them 
about her son who had Tourette syndrome. The woman told them all the 
medication her son was taking caused various side effects.

Tourette syndrome is listed as one of the debilitating medical 
conditions that cannabis can treat in the House Bill.

Humes said the drug was safer than alcohol and had many uses other 
than just medicine. He had a couple of theories as to why marijuana 
hasn't been made legal yet.

"It could have to do with industrial hemp," Humes said. "We all know 
that corporations lobby government and a lot of people in a lot 
different products could be replaced by hemp. It would be a lot safer 
for the planet.

"Its medicine, its fiber, its fuel and energy," Humes said. "All the 
demands that the world has right now, this could supply. I think 
that's part of it."

Humes noted the difficulty to tax the product as a possible roadblock 
to legalization.

"I think there is also a lot of people who don't understand and have 
been given the wrong information and disinformation about the plant," 
Humes said.

Humes said with the support the group has received, he believes the 
motion should pass in November.

In order for the matter to be voted on by the citizens of North 
Carolina, the measure has to pass through the General Assembly first.

"I think everyone has the right to use any type of medicine that 
helps them in any way that they and their doctor see fit," Humes 
said. "If it helps you relax mentally or physically, then that's great.

Humes the quality of life cannabis can restore is what is really 
important and his motivation for walking.

The group began in Asheville on Friday and will arrived in Raleigh on 
June 23 for Moral Monday where they hope to talk with several lawmakers.

Humes said the group has support from various groups including the 
Blue Ridge Liberty Project, Blue Ridge Medical Cannabis Research 
Corporation, Asheville Norml, NC Cannabis Patient Network and 
Patients Out of Time.

The group has a truck that will follow them with food and water. 
Humes invited anyone interested in marching with them to contact the 
group by visiting their "March Against Fear 2014" on Facebook page.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom