Article published by MerryJane.com
Written by Blake Taylor
It is a widely held belief North Carolina was the first state to declare independence from England with the Mecklenburg Declaration in 1775 and is the next stop on The High Road Summer Tour 2016. Just as the Wright brothers successfully completed their first flight of a mechanically propelled airplane over the sands of Kitty Hawk. We expect Snoop, Wiz, and company to get just as high.
North Carolina is a beautiful setting for a wide variety of music festivals throughout the summertime in a state that gave us Arthur Smith; known for the all-time best-selling guitar instrumental “Guitar Boogie” and the all-time best-selling banjo work “Dueling Banjos”.
A slew of talent has sprung from the Tar Heel State including James Taylor, Ben Folds Five, J. Cole, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and K-Ci & JoJo, who gave us “All My Life”, a song I shared with my high school sweetheart (I miss you, Lauren!).
Anyway, here are some facts about the current state of marijuana legislation in North Carolina:
The North Carolina legislature approved a significant reduction of penalties for marijuana possession back in 1977, far ahead of the current flood of decriminalization movements.
Possession of one half ounce or less of marijuana is a Class 3 misdemeanor which has a maximum fine of $200, any prison sentence has to be suspended under state law.
Possession of one half ounce to 1.5 ounces of weed is a Class 1 misdemeanor that may include 1 to 45 days behind bars and holds a discretionary fine for the first offense with a maximum fine of up to $1,000.
Any more than that and you are looking at 3 to 8 months of prison and a discretionary fine for your first offense.
North Carolina took a small step in the right direction when a CBD-focused law was enacted in 2014. The law prevented an enormous number of patients from safe access to cannabis and did not provide any source of extracts from within the state.
A comprehensive medical marijuana law (HB 78) was introduced in February 2015 to the state legislature that provided citizens protection from prosecution who suffer from a variety of serious medical conditions to use and possess marijuana. Later that march, the House Judiciary Committee struck the bill down.
Much like Alabama, blacks and whites use marijuana at a strikingly similar rate, however, while blacks make up 20% of the state population, they account for 50% of marijuana-related arrests.