With more than half of the United States reconsidering their marijuana laws to include medical or recreational use, it is only expected that federal policymakers reconsider as well. Many states currently regulate the growth, manufacturing, distribution and sale of marijuana and marijuana-based products. While it may be legal in these states, it is more difficult for cannabis businesses to seek government aid for their industry—as it is still illegal at the federal level.
According to CNET, the House already passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act—an Act that seeks to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
What does this mean for marijuana law?
Current law from 1970 classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug with no currently accepted medical use. The MORE Act does not require states to legalize cannabis, but it would remove cannabis from the list of controlled substances and expunge nonviolent cannabis convictions on a federal level.
With over 91% of Americans supporting legalization to some degree, there are many other initiatives in the House and Senate regarding marijuana. The Senate approved an act in March to streamline research applications.
A separate piece of legislation proposed by the Senate aims to make it easier for state-compliant businesses to access federal financial services.
What does this mean for North Carolina?
With the possibility of federally legal marijuana on the horizon, each state with restrictions may reconsider its stance but still has the power to maintain it. Those in North Carolina facing drug charges now or after the MORE Act potentially passes may still risk life-changing consequences without a proper defense.