NC could be the next state to legalize marijuana

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NC could be the next state to legalize marijuana

Medical cannabis within the U.S.

Medical cannabis within the U.S.

Wikimedia Commons

Medical cannabis within the U.S.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Medical cannabis within the U.S.

Peyton Forte, Contributor

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Though only ten states including Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana use, North Carolina could soon become the 11th.

A group of North Carolina lawmakers, headed by state representative Kelly Alexander, traveled to Raleigh to introduce legislation decriminalizing the medical use of marijuana, according to WNCN.

North Carolina is currently only allowing cannabidiol (CBD) products that are no more than 0.9 percent THC and at least five percent CBD, though medical CBD use is not heavily regulated, says Dan Sefa of Royal CBD.

CBD is an extract of the marijuana plant, and while it does not invoke a high, CBD is widely used for its medicinal properties.

Under the new bill, North Carolinians can possess up to four ounces of marijuana with no legal ramifications. It would also allow for each county to make the autonomous decision of legalizing the drug, similar to regulations regarding the ABC liquor store chain.

For those backing the proposed bill, their support is rooted in decriminalization rather than just legalizing the drug.

“We’re criminalizing more and more people that probably shouldn’t be criminalized. Something should be done, but they shouldn’t be criminalized,” said bill co-sponsor Paul Lowe Jr. to WSOC.

For many proponents of legalization, part of decriminalization means expunging the records of those with prior convictions, but it has yet to be confirmed if this is a stipulation of the bill.

Of the states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, only five of them (California, Colorado, Maryland, New Hampshire and Oregon) have some variation of legislation in place to expunge the records of those convicted of possession, cultivation or distribution of marijuana.

Arrest rates tend to be higher among African-Americans and racial disparities remain despite legalization.

“(Marijuana) should be legalized but these laws can have loopholes that still marginalize minorities,” said Myles Wilder, sophomore horticulture student.

A report by the Drug Policy Alliance offered a status report, which evaluated the demographic impacts of marijuana among states where the drug is legal.

The report found:

  • A black person in Washington, D.C. is 11 times more likely than a white person to be arrested for public consumption of marijuana.
  • Alaska’s marijuana arrest rate for black people (17.7 per 100,000) is ten times greater than that of white people (1.8 per 100,000) despite black people only making up four percent of the population.
  • In Colorado, marijuana arrests for white people decreased by 51 percent, but only decreased by 33 percent for latinx people and 25 percent for black people between 2012 and 2014.

For Americans who carry a record due to past marijuana convictions, it can be disheartening to witness the wealthy profiting from legalization. Meanwhile, felons who have had these charges must suffer the consequences of the impossibilities of  obtaining employment or housing.

Marijuana legalization has never been more popular, with a reported 62 percent of Americans supporting it, according to the Pew Research Center. This has influenced the growing commonality of cannabis reform throughout the country.

Reform might be coming to NC, and the cannabis craze is gaining traction in the State House. The earliest the group of lawmakers can introduce any cannabis reform is late January or early February of 2019.

“It’s time now for the legislators in North Carolina to catch up with the people,” said Alexander.

17 Comments

17 Responses to “NC could be the next state to legalize marijuana”

  1. KEITH OLSON on December 11th, 2018 8:01 pm

    They wont even call me back… DONT BELIEVE THE HYPE…
    It’s just smoke and mirrors… will be done behind closed doors if hasnt been already

  2. John Cabe on December 12th, 2018 7:34 am

    Marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol and sold cheaply than cigarettes.

  3. David on December 12th, 2018 10:59 am

    Sure hope NC gets on board with everybody else.

  4. Burlie Bost on December 12th, 2018 8:09 pm

    I think it’s about time for serious reconsideration of the current laws regarding marijuana in NC. Break it down to the pros and cons. It would free up space in the jails and prisons resulting in less cost for the state in inmate upkeeps. Less taxes for residents of the state, and if done properly it can result in a new cash crop for the state. Instead of tobacco, which is going the way of the dinosaurs anyhow. Personally, I think crime, or at least violent crimes would drop. The biggest reason that people I know do the harder drugs is because they stay in your system for a shorter period of time. “Weed” stays in your system too long, so people of course worry about their jobs and drug tests in general. I personally would much prefer to smoke a “joint” or eat some candy made with cannabis butter. People that injest marijuana, whatever the method, are generally easier to get along with as well. As for the cons, well i don’t really see many. Other than just general laziness and the munchies which could lead to obesity or diabetes. There just has to be rules just like anything else. Can’t use while at work or right before driving. Make it like alcohol, you have to be 18 or 21. Colorado has had an economic boom thanks to the legalization of marijuana. Just sounds like a good idea to me. Also, its totally “green” as well. Pun intended. Lol.

  5. J on December 12th, 2018 8:16 pm

    Marijuana is not legal in NH. It has only been decriminalized.

  6. Gina on December 13th, 2018 12:15 pm

    I work In a gas station there are a lot of people some on there smelling like weed already and it not legal yet I personally don’t do it but from what I heard people say it helps with depression and anxiety the thc make them feel a high and takes there mind off of things for awhile I think it’s a great idea to legalize it because we stress about enough stuff already

  7. barito on December 13th, 2018 12:52 pm

    is there an ongoing petition to present to lawmakers or get on ballot, legalization of medical marijuana use. There are so many residents who are living in the legal shadows because of their use for cancer, glaucoma, PTSD etc.

  8. Carol Hill on December 23rd, 2018 5:05 pm

    Please legalize recreational marijuana use in NC. I am a registered Republican voter and I want this law passed. I vote!

  9. Eddie on December 30th, 2018 9:40 pm

    I am a cancer patient and have had to use pill form of the Drug for several years, need to be a little more available in other forms ,, edible, smoke, etc…. Anyhow the point is 1 prescription for me is 650.00 bucks . I’m a lower class blue collar worker all my life … Now who can afford that ? Unless you have good insurance … I have to work and run outside and throw up lately 4-5 times a day . I need this medicine to help me hold down food or I’m going to be taking a dirt nap . come on NC pass this bill !!

  10. Devon Rowland on January 1st, 2019 7:42 am

    Legalizing we can be a good thing, it can help a lot of people with their anger with a eyesight stress it can help what a numerous of things. lot less issue with the police

  11. David Guffey on January 3rd, 2019 2:27 am

    I have used marijuana for 47 of my 64 years of life. I can be one that should be checked for the effects of long time use of marijuana. I went back to college and received a degree at an online school four years ago. While going to college online I was also learning how to use a computer, which I had just been using a computer for about four months when I started college. So much for marijuana use destroying brain cells and to be almost 64 years old. I am on good health. I have used marijuana for pain management for years, I have had eight total knee replacements surgeries. The anti-opiate trend that is sweeping the nation I think marijuana is a healthier solution for pain management. Ask me whatever you want about the use of marijuana and the effects of long time use.

  12. Barbara King on January 9th, 2019 4:27 pm

    North Carolina needs Medical Marijuana/Cannabis.
    It would bring a lot of money in the state. (Let’s go North Carolina.)

  13. Sara Harrington on January 11th, 2019 10:06 am

    Good

  14. Ulysses atkinson on January 11th, 2019 10:13 am

    I honestly think its an awesome idea to legalize marijuana down here,simply for the cause of being able to renovate some areas with a little help of income from this awesome herb.

  15. Stacey Cummings on January 11th, 2019 5:06 pm

    I am a nc resident….i have been sober of opiods for over 5 years now……as I know, this state still has restrictions for marijuana laws. I recently had began use of cbd oils, but have since december 2017 been put on intense probation. Prohibiting any use of cannabis products unless otherwise specified. I am a mother of 5 children ages 14-2 years old. My anxiety attacks and bi-polar manic depression, chronic migraines, and pain due to hip, back, and head injuries…..without relief I am kept from being the mother I once could be while I was using cannabis products ….How do I get help or permission or referral to be able to use again…..my contact information is available in my medical marijuana card application. If there is anyway possible please help…..thanks sincerely Stacey Cummings.

  16. Steve Wagner on January 13th, 2019 5:29 pm

    Please please keep pace with the rest of the world. You know how many Vets we could save every week with simple legislation. Sign the bill..the people have spoken…if you do t like it then don’t buy it. Don’t make criminals out of people just seeking pain relief.
    The cat is out of the bag big pharma half of your “medicines” can be replaced with a simple plant. Get over it.
    As we stand today enough “recognized” medical professionals state marijuana has medicinal benefits so I ask what is the issue???

  17. REE on January 16th, 2019 9:51 pm

    I’m from North Carolina and I really think that legalizing marijuana would be great for this State so many people smoke it some smoke it for fun but for people like me I have to smoke it to calm myself when I’m stressed it really helps when I can’t sleep it helps me . To me marijuana is like a medicine I never heard of anybody dieing from it. I’m definitely all for supporting legalization of marijuana recreational and medical use.

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