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Morning Memo: Medical marijuana, topless rallies, possums on today's legislative agenda

TODAY AT THE STATEHOUSE: Bring the Doritos and the duct tape for the House Rules Committee meeting Wednesday. The powerful panel will consider a bill to legalize marijuana for medicinal use and another aimed at topless rallies in Asheville by women seeking gender equity. (The committe chairman recently suggested women could use duct tape to get around the law.) On the more serious side, a House committee will consider a measure to repeal the estate tax, even though top Senate Republicans are not interested in the issue as part of their tax proposal. The Senate Rules Committee considers the possum bill. Both chambers convene at 2 p.m.

ANN McCRORY'S INAUGURAL GOWN GOES TO MUSEUM: From AP -- North Carolina first lady Ann McCrory is turning over her inaugural gown to the N.C. Museum of History, which will include it in an exhibition about governors and their spouses. Ann McCrory's gown will be on display Wednesday evening during an event for History Museum associates. After that, it will be featured in the exhibit "Leading the State: North Carolina's Governors," which ends April 28. During the event Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory will speak briefly with the N.C. Museum of History Benefactors Circle and the Gold Quill Society.

Good morning. Thanks for reading the Dome Morning Memo, a daily political tipsheet for North Carolina. Read much more below.

Senate comedians craft possum "right to work" bill

The House bill that would clear the way for a popular New Year’s Eve “possum drop” in Brasstown now has a companion bill in the Senate, where its comedian authors have dubbed it “The Opossum Right-to-Work Act.”

SB60, sponsored by Republican Senators Jim Davis, a two-term orthodontist from Franklin, and Stan Bingham, a seven-term lumber company owner from Denton.

The House went with the more staid title, “Captivity License and Permit Amendments.” That bill has been referred to the Rules Committee.

The bills would give the state Wildlife Resources Commission the authority to issue permits for wild animals to be used in “scientific, educational or exhibition purposes.”

But it’s not a funny matter to animal-protection advocates. People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals sued and stopped the state from allowing an opossum from being trapped for the event.

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