After just 20 minutes of public comments, North Carolina's House Rules Committee voted to reject a bill that would have legalized the possession and use of medical marijuana in the state.

WRAL's @NCCapital blog reported that the "Enact Medical Cannabis Act" received a rare "unfavorable report" in an effort "to stem a tide of phone calls and emails on the topic."

"We did it to be done with it, so people could move on for the session," Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam (R-Wake) told the site, adding that state lawmakers were being "harassed" by constituents.

Many members of the public were also gathered inside the committee room to speak out in support of HB 84.

"I cannot tell you how quick and complete the relief I had from horrible nausea was," said brain cancer survivor Catherine Lyles, who was given five years to live when she was initially diagnosed 17 years ago.

In fact, only a single individual in attendance was there to speak out against the bill: North Carolina Family Policy Council rep Jere Royall.

Additionally, only one lawmaker — the bill's sponsor Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg) — had anything to say about the measure before it was summarily killed by the committee.

The Associated Press notes that "the decision means this bill and the issue are likely dead at the General Assembly through 2014."

But proponents of medical marijuana legalization vowed to continue the fight despite the setback.

"We will continue to write editorials, emails, do whatever it takes for people to get their medicine," read a post on the North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act's official Facebook page. "We will reform Cannabis prohibition, all of this will not be in vain. Keep up the fight!"

[photo via Shutterstock]