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NC Gov Cooper Urges Legislature To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

by Hannah Schoenbaum

Associated Press

October 8, 2022

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he supports pardoning people convicted of marijuana possession and decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug.

Cooper addressed the topic Friday during the State Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice. The task force was established two years ago.

On Thursday, President Biden pardoned thousands of Americans convicted under federal law.

Cooper says those types of crimes can change someone’s life.

Although the task force has previously recommended that lawmakers reduce the charge for possession of a small amount of marijuana, the General Assembly did not follow through with the recommendation.

House Speaker Tim Moore said in June that the chamber would wait until 2023 to reconsider legalizing medical marijuana.

“We also know that a conviction of simple possession can mar a people’s records for life and maybe even prevent them from getting a job,” Cooper said. “The General Assembly didn’t pass your recommendations on this last session, but I believe they should. North Carolina should take steps to end this stigma...”

While federal law still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its recreational use, and 37 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its medical use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. North Carolina, however, has been slow to follow suit...

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