Across the United States, multiple locations have amended drug laws in recent years. Changes include legalizing cannabis, reforming drug policies to be more health-focused and decriminalizing certain psychedelics. According to experts, more states are poised to amend marijuana laws in the coming years. Is North Carolina one of the states that could legalize marijuana next? The question is of interest to many individuals, especially those who have faced the criminal justice system due to marijuana-related offences.
North Carolina has taken concrete steps toward the legalization of medical marijuana over the past year. In 2021, a proposal to legalize medical use of cannabis made its way through three Senate committees. Supporters of the proposal are optimistic that it could be passed this year, with the Majority Whip of the house voicing support of the reform.
The proposal would still limit use of marijuana to treating conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy and similarly debilitating health issues. It would allow approved patients to possess a maximum of 1.5 ounces of cannabis. Growing marijuana from home would still be prohibited under the proposal.
Public opinion largely favors the legalization of marijuana to some extent. According to a recent poll, 3/4 of individuals in North Carolina believe it should be legal to use for medicinal purposes. Even in the case of recreational use, the majority believe it should be legal. Nevertheless, until the time such reforms are passed, marijuana possession and distribution can be met with drug charges. Those who have been accused of a crime relating to the use or distribution of marijuana should speak to a North Carolina lawyer to understand their defence options.