Governor Of North Carolina Says There’s “Opportunity” To Decriminalize Legal Marijuana In 2023, Also Supporting Broader Decriminalization!

Governor Of North Carolina Says There's "Opportunity" To Decriminalize Legal Marijuana In 2023

The North Carolina governor has stated his belief that a bill to legalize medical Marijuana “has an opportunity to pass” in the upcoming legislative session. He has also restated his support for the statewide decriminalization of cannabis possession due to racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Governor Roy Cooper (D) touched on the topic briefly during an interview with WXII 12 that aired on Tuesday. He predicted that the bill will succeed since “medical marijuana passed the Senate this past year.” Since the law has been implemented unfairly, I agree that possession of minor amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized.

The Senate voted to legalize medical marijuana in June, but the bill was stalled in the House by conservative Republicans. Cooper’s advocacy for decriminalization has only gained traction as of late. In October, he publicly supported the policy shift, saying it was time to “remove the stigma.” He also announced that he was investigating his own options for giving pardons to persons with past convictions.

Cooper stated that he has instructed state attorneys to assess pardon authority for marijuana offenses in light of President Joe Biden‘s mass pardon statement in October, which included a call to action for governors to grant state-level relief.

Law enforcement “should be focused on eliminating violent crime and drug trafficking and other dangers to safe communities,” he said during a meeting of the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, which he created to discuss the subject.

The task panel has earlier suggested that marijuana be legalized rather than criminalized. The panel, led by the state’s Democratic attorney general, Josh Stein, recommended that California conduct a study on whether or not to legalize cannabis sales statewide.

Governor Of North Carolina Says There's "Opportunity" To Decriminalize Legal Marijuana In 2023

According to Cooper, “North Carolina should take actions to erase this stigma” after the presidential pardon was announced. I’ve requested that the firm’s legal team investigate North Carolina law on the topic of pardons and convictions for simple possession of Marijuana to see what options are available.

When asked about the likelihood of passing medical cannabis legislation this year, House Speaker Tim Moore (R) was among the most prominent lawmakers to express skepticism, stating that “there are a lot of concerns” with the reform proposal presented by Sen. Bill Rabon (R). The majority of North Carolina voters (82%) support legalizing medical Cannabis, according to a May poll.

This includes 75% of Republicans, 87% of unaffiliated voters, and 86% of Democrats. Sixty percent of voters, according to a different poll, are in favor of legalizing cannabis for adults. Three-quarters of respondents to a recent survey agreed that people with medical needs should be able to get marijuana.

This is a significant increase in support for medical cannabis legalization since voters were asked about it earlier this year. Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger has noted a shift in public sentiment on marijuana in the state and singled out Rabon as someone who “for a long time has looked at the problem.”

As of right now, possession between half an ounce and 1.5 ounces of cannabis is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 45 days in jail and a $200 fine. There were 3,422 similar charges in 2019, with 1,909 convictions; of those convicted, 70% were people of color.

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