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State briefs: US Rep. Jones pushes for marijuana in some cases

WILMINGTON (AP) — U.S. Rep. Walter Jones says North Carolina officials should consider whether marijuana would help children who suffer controllable seizures.
Jones says he’s been approached by the parents of several children who suffer life-threatening illnesses.
Jones says North Carolina officials should consult with medical professionals to determine the appropriateness of allowing the medical use of marijuana in certain cases.
The Republican congressman says the parents have tried everything else to get relief for their children.
For children, marijuana is taken orally and is not smoked.
One parent advocating the legalization of medicinal marijuana for children in North Carolina is Liz Gorman of Raleigh.
“I don’t feel we’ve gotten as far as we’ve wanted to” in talks with politicians, Gorman said. But Gorman said she had a good talk with Jones earlier this year.
“He understood the issue we were facing with our kids,” Gorman said.
Her daughter suffers from catastrophic epilepsy and has had as many as 300 to 400 seizures a day.
WILMINGTON (AP) — It will cost more to visit North Carolina’s three aquariums next year.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is proposing increasing admission prices by about $3 likely beginning the first of March.
That means adults would then pay almost $11. Members of the military and seniors would pay just under $10, and children between 3 and 12 would pay almost $9.
An agency rule allows the increase to take place, but the admission price increases still need formal approval to become permanent. The aquariums are taking public comment through Jan. 9.
RALEIGH (AP) — An appeals court says a North Carolina state trooper should not have been fired when the Highway Patrol determined he violated its truthfulness policy about his wide-brimmed hat.
The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously upheld a lower court finding that the 2009 dismissal of Trooper Thomas Wetherington did not match the level of his offense.
Wetherington testified he noticed his hat was missing during a Craven County traffic stop. Court documents show he told his immediate supervisor the hat blew off of his head and was probably crushed. The hat was recovered a few weeks later in good condition. Wetherington was confronted about his story, ultimately leading to his dismissal.
The state must decide whether to ask the state Supreme Court to review the case.
WAYNESVILLE (AP) — North Carolina officials don’t expect to be repaid for the money they spent to help keep part of the Smoky Mountains National Park open during the federal government shutdown earlier this year.
A spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory said the state doesn’t expect to get the money back.
North Carolina spent only $15,000.
McCrory and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam paid to keep part of the park open during the federal government shutdown in October. Tennessee spent $60,000.
Congress reached a budget deal and the government shutdown ended the day after the park reopened.
Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota and Utah also paid to open federal parks during the shutdown. Congress is considering legislation to reimburse the states the more than $3.5 million they spent.

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