decriminalize marijuana and study legalization north carolina governors racial equity task force says 56425

Decriminalize Marijuana And Study Legalization, North Carolina Governor’s Racial Equity Task Force Says

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A task force convened by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is recommending that the state decriminalize marijuana possession and initiate a study on whether to more broadly legalize cannabis sales. “You cannot talk about improving racial equity in our criminal justice system without talking about marijuana,” Attorney General Josh Stein (D), who co-chairs the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice, said on Wednesday. “White and Black North Carolinians use marijuana at similar rates, yet Black people are disproportionately arrested and sentenced.” He added that it “is time for North Carolina to start having real conversations about a safe, measured, public health approach to potentially legalizing marijuana.” The task force’s recommendation is to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce and a half of cannabis and make it a civil offense. Past convictions should automatically be expunged, the panel said. The group also wants the state to convene another task force charged specifically with studying the “pros and cons and options for legalization of possession, cultivation and/or sale, including government or not for profit monopoly options.” The review “should be guided by a public safety, public health, and racial equity framework,” it said. In the meantime, arrests for marijuana possession and felony drug possession for less than .25 grams of illegal substances should be deprioritized, and prosecutors should also deprioritize cannabis-related prosecutions, the group recommends. “Data made available to the Task Force shows that 63 percent of the more than 10,000 convictions for simple possession of marijuana last year in North Carolina are people of color even though they are only 30 percent of the population and research documents that marijuana use is at roughly equal percentages among Black and white populations,” state Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls, who also co-chairs the panel, said. “This recommendation is…

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Source : Decriminalize Marijuana And Study Legalization, North Carolina Governor’s Racial Equity Task Force Says

reposted by Cannabis News World

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