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Legalizing Weed: 6 Quotes From Lawmakers After Pot Became Decriminalized in North Carolina

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 03:33 PM

Weed remains a controlled substance in the state of North Carolina, however, amounts of less than one-half ounce found on a person results in a fine, not jail time.

In Western North Carolina federal officials have given the go-ahead to Native American tribes, who can now control marijuana laws on their reservations. In 2014 the state’s General Assembly allowed for use of a cannabis extract to treat seizures, but other efforts to legalize medical marijuana have fallen short, reports the Citizen-Times.

In early 2015, a measure was introduced to move medical marijuana forward and into the hands of patients with severe illness. But the Legislature shot it down immediately, with more than 70 percent voting against it. As a result of state legislative rules, new measures will not be taken up again until 2017.

Urgent: Should Marijuana Be Legalized in All States?

Legalizing weed remains a hot-button topic in the state. Here’s what lawmakers are saying about legalization efforts:

1. "We did it to be done with it, so people could move on for the session," Republican Paul Stam said about the vote in the Legislature. According to High Times, Stam said that he felt lawmakers were being "harassed" with phone calls and emails in support of medical marijuana reform.

2. Some lawmakers believe it’s only a matter of time before marijuana laws are expanded and medical marijuana is made widely available in North Carolina.
We just need to engage in more education," Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford said, according to WNCN.  "I think there's an initial reluctance or resistance to it because it has marijuana in the name."

3. "Marijuana is a choice, and it should be left up to the patient," said Rep. Carla Cunningham, D-Mecklenburg, reports WNCN. "It may not happen this time, but I'm going to keep my hopes high. I think it's just a matter of time."

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4. Tim Moore, Republican House speaker, thinks weed is too controversial to be considered for medical or recreational use because of drug abuse concerns, WNCN reported.

"With marijuana, it opens that whole can of worms," Moore said. "I don't sense much support for medical marijuana."

5. Although the state legislature has opposed taking up any marijuana issues in 2015, a public movement with voters is gaining weight, according to the International Business Times.

“It’s as inevitable as high tide every morning,” said State Rep. Kelly Alexander, a Democrat. “Even people opposed to it see which way the country is moving and the citizens of the state are moving.”

6. Marijuana is still being considered a gateway drug by some, even medical marijuana, reported the International Business Times.

“If you start playing with this ... then you start getting into other things,” said Republican state Sen. Jeff Tarte.

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Weed remains a controlled substance in the state of North Carolina, however, amounts of less than one-half ounce found on a person results in a fine, not jail time.
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Tuesday, 19 May 2015 03:33 PM
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