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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.

41 Comments

41 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.

  18. Joe cruz on January 24th, 2019 5:22 am

    If the bill does not allow for small crop cultivation then do not support it. We need to be able to grow our own (say 6 – 12 plants) so that we can truly afford it. Otherwise lawmakers stated intent is a another lie, they are just thinking of the $ to be made and careless about the medical advantages.

  19. Thomas Tyson jr on January 26th, 2019 5:50 pm

    NC just has to face it , legalization will be new and different . cannabis can’t be put into only one or two “boxes of understanding”. Jobs will come from this. A small victory for the people is on its way . I just hope NC doesn’t wait too long and let other states water the game down. We could really benefit from this but timing is crucial, strike while the iron is hot. Work the problems out as needed. Everything has growing pains,and once we get past those, we will see the difference #legalizeit

  20. Barbara King on January 27th, 2019 10:16 am

    We need Medical Marijuana/ Cannabis in North Carolina, I know a lot of people who get it from another State, Their relatives send it to them,
    North Carolina is missing out on a lot of tax money that it would bring in.
    Always vote for senators who want MMJ the Republicans don’t want it, but the Democrats do.
    ( Type in Google) N.C. Cannabis Voter Project, It will tell you who wants MMj and who doesn’t.

  21. K Oliver on January 31st, 2019 6:32 pm

    I would love to see NC join other legalization states. It is really a matter of time. I am a conservative, middle-aged woman, who has a long-standing history of chronic pain and other health issues. I would LOVE a legal alternative to opioids. Opioid cons- Death, hyperalgesia, organ dysfunction from long -term use, limited applications (pain relief), cost… Cannabis pros- benefits the endocannabanoid system, multiple treatment applications, not lethal, variety of consumption methods, easy to adjust dosage according to need… Hands down a much better option. It is only a matter of time. I think that NC is waiting for border states to legalize. Imagine SC legalizing and NC residents obtaining marijuana over the state line. NC would have to deal with the influx of cannabis without reaping the rewards. That wouldn’t last long. It would force legislation. Come on SC. Make it happen.

  22. Daniel Burns on February 6th, 2019 4:04 am

    I think legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational would be the best thing look at all the states that have done it I came out dead less crime rate and it helps a lot of people somebody could come from this plant that God put on Earth for us to use and ain’t this country built on In God We Trust so I say yes to legalizing marijuana recreational and medical so passed a bill already

  23. Daniel Burns on February 6th, 2019 4:07 am

    I think legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational would be the best thing look at all the states that have done it they came out debt less crime rate and it helps a lot of people and a lot of good comes from this plant that God put on Earth for us to use and ain’t this country built on In God We Trust so I say yes to legalizing marijuana recreational and medical so passed a bill already

  24. Mike Wrighy on February 10th, 2019 11:05 am

    I have stage 3 colon and rectum cancer. I also have Terminal Brain cancer. Glioblastoma has no cure and the latest research shows that Cannabis oil can and does kill cancer cells. Cannibas also provides pain relief, anti-anxiety, anti-Nassau, help sleeping. It also reduces the amount of Narcotic pain meds we take.

    Cancer patients along with patients with other diseases, need access to legal THC products from the raw plant, oils and edibles…. This legalality should not even be in question with the amount of data and doctor recommendations…

    Please have some compassion and stop making good, law abiding North Carolinians as well as all Americans from becoming a criminal for simply trying to survive and Saving our own life!

  25. Aristides Seth Adams on February 13th, 2019 12:10 am

    My name is Seth Adams. Sometimes people call me Aris. I suffer from epilepsy and severe pain from a fatal wreck that I was brought back from. My physician says that Marijuana is a good choice for me, as it has kept me seizure free for over a year and I can get my license back yet again. Please don’t send me to jail for needing it medically. I need help.

  26. Doc Brown on February 17th, 2019 9:30 pm

    I suffer from complex regional pain syndrome and have done so for the past 13 years. I am tired of taking a wide range of different medications that marginally help with the pain. My pain management MD has discussed the use of marijuana as a real treatment option that he believes will give me much better pain relief than I have not been able to obtain from the wide variety of meds that I take for my condition.

    I can only wish and hope that the North Carolina Legislation will get their act together and make medical marijuana a reality. I think if this happens, you will see a reduction in the number of opioid deaths.

    The opioid situation is making it harder for folks who truly suffer chronic moderate to severe pain to be prescribed what is needed to function. Legal marijuana would be a Godsend for so many folks like myself who want to follow the law of the land even if it mean enduring pain that most people have never had to deal with on a continual non-stop basis day after day, year after year.

  27. Michael Rodriguez on February 19th, 2019 3:45 pm

    I think NC should legalize it. If you think about it so many people do it anyway. That’s just putting all that money in drug dealers pockets. If marijuana becomes legal than it would take all that money millions or even billions out of the drug dealers hand basically putting them out of business and that money can go into the states hands and allot of good can come from it for our roads our schools etc.

  28. Joseph Hall on February 20th, 2019 12:16 am

    I believe it should be legalized too come on state of North Carolina let’s do this already

  29. Gary Jones on February 21st, 2019 8:48 pm

    Everyone needs to let their representatives know to legalize. If they don’t then vote someone in that will. It’s always been stupid that marijuana has been illegal. Finally most of the country has come out of the dark ages. Hopefully North Carolina politicians will also.

    Both tobacco and alcohol are far worse and are legal. It’s really a no brainer to vote for legal Marijuana use.

  30. Nancy Scott on March 1st, 2019 7:07 pm

    At this point, I feel it is a crime for legislators in southern states to deny their constituents legal access to marijuana. This plant is far less harmful than opiates and benzodiazepines. It makes no sense that it is legal to use opiates and benzodiazepines, but it is illegal to use marijuana. Give me a break! If legislators can’t see current legislation is wrong, we need to vote them out of office!

  31. Stephanie Rayhart on March 3rd, 2019 10:28 pm

    There is nothing wrong with smoking weed for most people like me its to make them feel normal again or be able to just breath some people cant rely on perscription pills

  32. M Bryan on March 9th, 2019 3:51 pm

    Legalization/full decriminalization (with a ban on advertising and controls to prevent youth usage and driving while under the influence) in NC is needed ASAP. Unfortunately, I DON’T believe that a majority of the elected members of our State legislature have the political courage to do so. In fact, most seem more afraid of losing the financial support of faith-based organizations that seek to equate “crime” with “sin” than the votes of a clear majority of North Carolinians. This, it’s far less likely that NC would be “the NEXT slate to legalize marijuana” than among the LAST states to do so.

    I do see an outside chance of our State lawmakers getting behind reform IF Federal prohibition is repealed. I just don’t believe we can count on either of our Senators or a majority of our Representatives to help in that effort.

  33. Cheryl on March 11th, 2019 8:54 pm

    I moved from Washington I had medical license for years then it became legal years ago I’ve missed it for health reasons don’t understand why people here are so behind it doesn’t seem right

  34. Alvin Stapleton on March 12th, 2019 5:52 pm

    I think it should be legalized medical and recreational,it could help in so many ways plus think of the revenue it would bring the state.plus it’s not man made ,so please make it legal time for North Carolina to catch up with the times

  35. Richard Beach on March 13th, 2019 9:01 am

    Disabled vet been smoking for years quit so the VA put me on so many pills over years I ask my doctor if I can try vamping weed and I tried it again and boy how much relief I got on smoking weed again sleep better. Eat better. No depression blood pressure down cant wait for North Carolina to get on board so I can do it legal.

  36. Frank Church on March 14th, 2019 9:33 pm

    Marijuana should have been legalized a long time ago. So many people have been suffering from depression and marijuana is the best thing in the world for depression. It also helps with neuropathic pains from people that has had brain surgery. No one has ever or can overdose on pot so why keep it illegal when it can help people. Legalize it and get it over with.

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    My husband left me and our 2 kids for another woman for 3 years. I tried to be strong just for my kids but I could not control the pains that torment my heart. I was hurt and confused. I needed a help, so i did a research on the internet and came across a site where I saw that Dr Eddy a spellcaster, that can help get lovers back. I contacted him and he did a special prayer and spells for me. To my surprises, after some days, my husband came back home. That was how we reunited again and there was a lot of love, joy and peace in the family.
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  38. Stephanie on March 17th, 2019 8:46 pm

    Marijuana should be legalized across the board. It’s much safer than alcohol. As long as you’re a responsible adult, I think it can really help with so many things. There are so many health benefits. I have chronic pain and it helps my pain so much. I don’t see how they can keep something so helpful to so many illegal! Please pass the bill to legalize medical then recreational marijuana. For the good of everyone.

  39. Laura on April 5th, 2019 1:20 pm

    I suffer with depression and PTSD from being molested repeatedly as a child. Prozac is ok and works fast, but when it comes to intimacy, WEED is the best medicine I can share with my husband and enjoy that special moment without having flashbacks. It takes away my fibromyalgia and arthritis pain. Where I live, I am surrounded by tobacco fields. We all know that cigarettes cause cancer and MJ fights it. Why not rip out the tobacco and sow some MJ people? It would help many and NC would make more money and have more jobs available and job seekers wouldn’t have to worry about having a positive weed test when they applied for a job. Of course, law’s should be applied like alcohol. We don’t want our adolescents smoking even though I started at 16 and still became fluent in Spanish in the course of 3 years. No brain cells burnt over here. One last thing, I am 51 and my husband is 46 and when we hit our bong, we are like 2 teenagers. Guys, for those of you taking Viagra or cheap enhancing pills from the gas station, take my word on it and make a switch to MJ.

  40. michelle magee on April 7th, 2019 9:02 am

    Due to a kidney transplant, I can not take any OTC or script pain meds. I got “reactive arthritis,” two years after the transplant due to side effects of a hep B shot. I have trouble sleeping at times. I discovered CBD oil about four years ago and it has helped a lot with my pain, but some days I have flare ups and it’s just not doing the trick. I’ve had some edibles I got about three years ago that I save for emergencies like a flare up. I don’t like to get high, but when I’m in so much pain, if I eat one before I got to bed, I can sleep well and feel 80% better the next day. I’m out of them btw, so NC needs to legalize marijuana now! Weather for medical or recreational, MJ should be LEGAL here in NC if you choose to use it. Not only could it be helpful in the opioid epidemic, it would bring in lots of revenue for the state. People are going to get it one way or another. The majority of people I know and have know through out my life, including when I lived in a different state growing up, smoked MJ. They are ALREADY using it and getting it, so why not make it legal and make money? Yes, the prisons (privatized ones) make money off having full capacity, but I bet, they’d make even more off the sales of MJ. The only one that loses are the pharma industries and police stations. That is probably the biggest reasons it’s not legal.. follow the money!

  41. Timothy on April 8th, 2019 10:49 pm

    Non regulated marijuana comes from street dealers, who get it from gangs or cartels who use the money from marijuana for bad things. Make marijuana legal, regulate it an cut out the bad guys an let them go get real jobs. Citizens would much rather buy their products legally from the state dispensary. Then the state has some extra money an nobody cares what they do with it, give yourselves a fat raise North Carolina or put it towards education. NC EDUCATION MARIJUANA. NC EDIBLES FOR EDUCATIONAL

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