Task Force in North Carolina Recommends Legal Cannabis

Will North Carolina be the next state to reform their cannabis laws?
Task Force in North Carolina Recommends Legal Cannabis

During the tough financial times of COVID, many states are turning to legal or medical cannabis to boost the economy and repair the damage done by the war on drugs. The North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice would like to see its home state follow suit in embracing the newly emerging industry.

The task force was first called by Governor Roy Cooper, who knows that the South currently has two problems to deal with in light of 2020 events: racial tension and economic hardships. Therefore, the governor used Executive Order 145 this summer to call a task force to look for solutions to the issues minorities face when it comes to daily discrimination and the legal system. This recommendation has the added bonus of seriously boosting the economy as well.

The recommendations touch on several ideas, including decriminalizing possession of cannabis. Because there were so many charges and convictions of people of color, 31,287 charges in 2019 for those who just had half ounces, to be exact, this would majorly help with social equity and ending discrimination and the war on drugs. It could also lead the way for a legal industry to spring forth in the future.

Currently, North Carolina allows CBD for medical use in some cases, but really doesn’t have much of a medical program, and absolutely no recreational legality. Like most of the South, the state has remained far away from legalizing cannabis or discussion of legalization. Now, however, the tide is starting to turn, with nearby states like South Carolina and Virginia discussing moves towards legalization, and lots of Northern East Coast states already embracing it.

Potential Impact of Legalization

However, some doubt that legalization is the best way to help with racial equity. Danny Houck, a chief deputy in North Carolina’s Ashe County, has his doubts, as many people of color are arrested for other drugs, or from other illicit activities.

“It would depend on how they legalize it, the amounts and things of that nature,” Houck said.

However, the financial impact to the state could be serious. Legal states are currently reporting a total of more than $250 million in tax money from 2018. Plus, the state is currently lacking in jobs due to shutdowns, and in addition to bringing in money, a legal industry would create a lot of new jobs.

“Today’s report is a next step towards the actions that North Carolina must take to end racial disparities in the criminal justice system, not the final word,” task force member and N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anita Earls said. “The implementation chart listing all the recommendations will help direct our work ahead and monitor our progress. I am grateful for the hundreds of people from diverse perspectives who gave us their best thinking on what needs to change; to be successful, we will need their continued involvement going forward.”

If these measures are adopted, North Carolina could be looking at a new future for both social equity and the economy.

  1. Thank you Ms. Addison for the information you provided on the state’s stand on cannabis. North Carolina would do very well if it lessens current laws or better yet legalize it along with South Carolina and Virginia.

  2. This state has always turned a cold shoulder to the idea of legal cannabis throughout the counties. An implementation of legal medicinal/recreational cannabis laws could and should be assimilated into society just as they have been doing so in other areas around the nation. Even Our own “beloved” Washington D.C. has its own legalities pertaining to legal cannabis amongst many other states nationwide. To ignore the idea of taxable income on cannabis with the boost in job and revenue it creates its mind boggling to say the least. I’m glad to have journalists like Addison here who can at least give some type of foundation and voice to the state that’s stayed quiet for so long on the subject. Let’s just get this thing over with and move forward with this ! #freeweed

  3. Marijuana should be legal just like Alochol. Alochol causes more problems, drunk drivers kill people plus mess up there bodies and family for life. I got hit by drunk driver and it was his 3rd being caught driving drunk; I have had 5 spine surgeries and 3 fusions on spine and my life is hard now. I did drink alochol at one time, but it made me crazy, mean and fight in a heart beat. I smoked Marijuana daily since I was late 18’s. I could focus better, it gave me energy, got rid of my stress and aniexty plus helped my PTSD. I never missed a day of work, I worked out in gym after smoking it and was a Champion Body Builder. I always got high job reviews. I hate alochol as every time I have been around people drinking there was always a fight, some one being very stupid plus I have stopped many from driving there car when they were drunk; some were so drunk and could barely stand up. I would tell them your not driving and a hand full thought about fighting me, but being very big and strong I would take them down to ground and takes there key and hold them till they gave in and let me drive them home. more women and kids get abused due to alochol then all drugs combined. Marijuana is not for every body just like I was not meant to drink alochol as I would drink way to much every time; I gave up alochol and was the smartest thing I ever did. Smoking marijuana I could think clearly and could do anything like when I had not smoked marijuana. The federal government makes a lot of taxes off alochol sales. I have smoked marijuana and gave speeches in front of president and al top officer in a company. They all smoke my hand and told me I gave a great speech and would change the way I said of how yarn should be ordered and relayed to main office as they had a bad system and they had no ideal I had smoke marijuana, been pulled over by state troopers, been threw road blocks, pulled over by city cop and not one of them had a clue, I did not panic and did not even get a ticket as I was highly respectful and honest for running threw stop sign, city cop thought I did not have seat belt on, but when he walked up to truck first thing he said, you do have you seat belt on and that I pulled you over as I thought you did not have it on and we talked for 10 or more minutes. Alochol is not for every body just like marijuana is not for every body, but I rather be around people smoke marijuana than drinking any day. Marijuana should be legal before alochol should be. One more thing; back from age 18 to 23, every fight I got into was due to a drunk male who just had to fight me because I was a big body builder – they found out they made a huge mistake as I was drinking and did not take no BS from anyone. Never had to fight a person high on marijuana, never.

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