RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Advocates for legalizing marijuana urged state lawmakers on Thursday to behave on the problem earlier than the tip of the legislative session, although the Senate’s Republican chief says there nonetheless isn’t help amongst his celebration’s members to do this.
Members of NC NORML are lobbying for the state to legalize medical marijuana, with the objective of ultimately legalizing it for leisure use as effectively.
“It’s a matter of educating,” stated Janis Ramquist. “I have several family members that have conditions that don’t respond well to current prescription drugs, or the drugs are more dangerous than cannabis.”
A ballot earlier this yr by Elon University discovered 73 % of North Carolinians help legalizing marijuana for medical use whereas 18 % oppose it. When requested if folks help legalizing it for leisure functions, 54 % stated sure whereas 34 % oppose that.
“It’s been way too long that the people that are suffering from chronic conditions and a number of other situations that could be treated by medicinal cannabis have been forced to suffer in the dark,” stated Chris Suttle.
A invoice filed by Democrats within the House of Representatives would decriminalize as much as 1.5 ounces of marijuana.
Republican Senate chief Phil Berger stated Thursday that he acquired emails about that invoice.
“My sense is that there’s more support for decriminalization of some marijuana than in the past. I really don’t see the support for legalizing the use of recreational or medicinal quite frankly,” he stated. “I do think that public sentiment on that has been changing over the past few years.”
A racial fairness job drive shaped by Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has really helpful the state decriminalize small quantities of marijuana and examine legalization.
The Senate handed a invoice Thursday rising felony penalties for unlawful possession of fentanyl, which has been attributed to the rise in opioid overdoses in the course of the pandemic.
Ramquist pointed to analysis from different states which have legalized marijuana displaying decrease charges of overdoses compared to other states.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states and D.C. have legalized marijuana for leisure use. Virginia’s legislature just lately voted in favor of legalization beginning in 2024.
However, Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is now calling on possession to change into authorized on July 1, with gross sales being authorized in 2024.
Thirty-six states have legalized marijuana for medical makes use of, based on NCSL.
Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Twenty fifth District) stated he opposes legalizing it for leisure makes use of however when requested about medical use he stated, “Oh, that’s a different story. It’s got to be researched. It’s got to be proven. I want to see the data. I don’t want to see somebody’s opinion. I want to see the hard data. But, the recreational marijuana, no way.”