A new bill is being pushed that could possibly make recreational marijuana legal in North Carolina.
Seven democratic state senators, including Jay Chaudhuri & Lisa Grafstein, representing Wake County, and Natalie Murdock, representing parts of Chatham and Durham Counties, sponsored Senate Bill 346. This bill would allow NC citizens over the age of 21 to possess small amounts of marijuana.
If passed, anyone convicted of a possession charge that would otherwise be legal under the bill’s text would have that charge expunged no later than July 1, 2026.
As reported by WSOC-TV, the bill’s sponsors say that “cannabis prohibition, like alcohol prohibition before it, has been a wasteful and destructive failure,” and that prohibition “has had an unfair, disparate impact on persons and communities of color” and “diverts law enforcement resources from violent and property crimes.”
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In addition, the bill would also enact a 20% state tax on marijuana sales, with the option for municipalities to enact another 3% tax. Tax revenues would be split up between new and existing programs.
50% of the tax revenue would go to the general fund, while the remaining half would be split like this:
- 25% to a Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund created by the bill.
- 10% to a Social Equity Fund created by the bill.
- 3% to a Cannabis Education and Technical Assistance Fund created by the bill.
- 7% to the Department of Health and Human Services for evidence-based, voluntary programs for substance abuse treatment or prevention.
- 2% to the DHHS for a public education campaign for youth and adults about the health and safety risks of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other substances, including driving while impaired.
- 2% to the DHHS for cannabis research.
- Up to 1% to the Department of Public Safety for advanced impaired driving enforcement and drug recognition training.
There will be, of course, restrictions on how much an adult could have, as well as policies to prevent using marijuana while in a moving vehicle or in a public place.
The bill would also create a state industry for medical marijuana. The General Assembly is already debating Senate Bill 3 for the legalization of medical marijuana, but with a few different regulations.
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