North Carolina Governor Wants to Make Marijuana Possession Legal

marijuana plant
Image: Crystalweed Cannabis/Unsplash

Following President Biden’s recent pardon of thousands of people who were convicted for the same felony under federal law, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and his attorney general are urging the GOP-led state legislature to legalize having small amounts of marijuana, Fox News informed.

The North Carolina state legislature should change the misdemeanor charge for possessing up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana to a civil offense similar to a traffic infraction, according to the 24-member panel of law enforcement officers, attorneys, civil rights advocates, and state officials’ 2020 report.

The task force’s advice was not implemented by the North Carolina General Assembly, which is under Republican control.

In North Carolina, possession of more than 0.5 ounces of marijuana carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 in fines and up to 45 days in jail, with no exceptions for medical use.

A felony is defined as having more than 1.5 ounces in your possession.

Josh Stein, the state’s attorney general, concurred with the governor.

According to Stein last Thursday, people shouldn’t have a federal criminal record for something that is becoming increasingly acceptable in states.

That entails decriminalizing adult use, expunging prior simple possession convictions, providing robust protections for children, banning advertising, controlling sales, and prioritizing North Carolina farmers.

Due to term limits, Cooper cannot run for reelection in 2024. Cooper also stated that he has instructed attorneys to review state law to determine whether North Carolina can and should take additional measures to pardon such marijuana-related convictions.

The governor has nearly unrestricted pardoning authority under the North Carolina state constitution.

Biden urged on governors to grant comparable pardons for people convicted of state marijuana violations, which make up the majority of possession cases, after he pardoned thousands of Americans last week who were charged with federal marijuana possession.

He admitted that persons of color are disproportionately affected by drug accusations.

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