North Carolina Medical Cannabis Bill Has An “Opportunity” To Pass In 2023
In an interview with WXII 12, Cooper reiterated his support for the broader decriminalization of cannabis possession, noting racial disparities in enforcement.
“I think medical marijuana has passed the Senate this past year, and I think that has an opportunity to pass,” he said. “I do believe that we should decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in that it has been applied in a discriminatory way.”
NC Legalization Efforts
In June, North Carolina’s Senate passed a medical marijuana bill with bipartisan support. However, the state’s House Republicans decided not to legalize the measure. “I feel very confident that Republicans will have a supermajority next year. When I say next year, I mean six months from now. We can deal with this then,” said House Speaker Tim Moore (R) at the time. Moore is a key lawmaker who dismissed the idea of enacting medical cannabis legalization this year.
Bill 711 or N.C. Compassionate Care Act, co-sponsored by Senator Bill Rabon (R), would allow cannabis with higher levels of THC to treat debilitating conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV, AIDS and Crohn’s Disease.
Just days after President Joe Biden announced he would pardon all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession and urged governors to do the same, Gov. Cooper had taken steps in that direction.
During a task force meeting on racial equity and criminal justice, Cooper addressed the issue of marijuana decriminalization, saying that it’s time to “end the stigma.” He added that law enforcement “should be focused on stopping violent crime and drug trafficking and other threats to safe communities.”
Finally, a Wral news online survey showed 72% of bipartisan registered voters support medical cannabis legalization. Of them, 64% are Republicans, 75% are Democrats and 78% are unaffiliated voters.
This article was originally published on Benzinga and appears here with permission.