North Carolina Governor Says There’s ‘Opportunity’ To Legalize Medical Marijuana In 2023, Also Reiterating Support For Broader Decriminalization

North Carolina Governor Says There’s ‘Opportunity’ To Legalize Medical Marijuana In 2023, Also Reiterating Support For Broader Decriminalization
MJ moment

The governor of North Carolina says he thinks a medical marijuana legalization bill “has an opportunity to pass” in the upcoming legislative session, and he also reiterated his support for broader decriminalization of cannabis possession, noting racial disparities in enforcement. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) briefly spoke about the issue during an interview with WXII 12 that aired on Tuesday. “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.”

Medical cannabis legalization cleared the Senate in June, but House Republicans blocked it from advancing further in their chamber. Cooper’s public support for decriminalization is a relatively recent development. He first openly backed the policy change in October, saying that it’s time to “end the stigma,” while separately announcing steps he’s taken to explore his options for independently granting relief to people with existing convictions. Following President Joe Biden’s mass pardon announcement in October, which also involved a call to action for governors to provide state-level relief, Cooper said that he’s directed state attorneys to review pardon authority for marijuana offenses. He spoke about the issue at a meeting of the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice that he convened, saying law enforcement “should be focused on stopping violent crime and drug trafficking and other threats to safe communities.” The task force had previously recommended decriminalizing marijuana. The report from the panel, which is chaired by state Attorney General Josh Stein (D), also included a recommendation for the state to initiate a study on whether to more broadly legalize cannabis sales. “North Carolina should take steps to end this stigma,” Cooper said…

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Source : North Carolina Governor Says There’s ‘Opportunity’ To Legalize Medical Marijuana In 2023, Also Reiterating Support For Broader Decriminalization

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