Marijuana is a big topic of legislation throughout the states, with 36 now with laws allowing for the consumption of cannabis in one way or another. Some have gone so far as recreational legalization while others have laws surrounding medical marijuana.
A recent bill in the North Carolina Senate seeks to legalize medical marijuana, but it may not see a vote until next year, according to CBS17.
Budget and wording concerns
The legalization would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to receive marijuana prescriptions through a regulated process. However, there are plenty of hurdles on the road to passing the bill.
North Carolina’s budget remains unresolved three months into the fiscal year, which has lawmakers focusing on that matter over others. Combined with redistricting concerns, time is running out for voting on other bills.
Even if this medical marijuana initiative passes in the Senate, advocates of the legislation believe it will face heavy scrutiny in the House. There are multiple issues to resolve, such as which medical conditions will qualify, how many licenses will be available to growers and retailers, and how people will purchase prescribed medical marijuana.
It is still unclear whether the bill sees a vote this year or next.
Current marijuana law
Until such a bill passes, marijuana still remains illegal to possess, and anyone following these news stories should keep up to date on how drug charges may affect their lives.
Possession of up to one-half ounce is a misdemeanor with a $200 fine while up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana may cost up to $1,000 and 45 days in jail. Anything above 1.5 ounces is a felony in North Carolina.
The U.S. perspective on marijuana changes by the month, so it is important to remain aware of the current laws versus the laws that may pass at a later date.