Marijuana policy reform legislation will carry over to 2014
Legislation to reform North Carolina’s marijuana laws will carry over from 2013 to 2014 when the legislature reconvenes. In 2013, Rep. Kelly Alexander introduced legislation to create a compassionate medical marijuana program in North Carolina. A short time later, his obstructionist colleagues shelved it before any real debate could take place. On April 11, Rep. Alexander introduced a new bill – H941 – that would require the legislative research commission to study medical marijuana related issues. The very least North Carolina lawmakers can do for patients is study medical marijuana; if you live in the Tar Heel State, please consider asking them to do just that.
This is the third year in a row Rep. Alexander has sponsored compassionate medical marijuana legislation. He has also proven himself to be a champion for marijuana policy reform by sponsoring legislation to downgrade the penalty for possession of a small amount of marijuana. However, Rep. Alexander can’t change the law on his own; he needs the help of all North Carolinians. Please ask your lawmakers to downgrade the penalty for marijuana possession, and then urge them to study medical marijuana.
There is much support for marijuana policy reform in the Tar Heel State, but lawmakers tend to lag behind the public. Hopefully, that trend will reverse, thanks in large part to good people like Rep. Kelly Alexander.
Do you have a personal connection to marijuana policy reform?
If you are a medical professional, a patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, or if you know somebody who might benefit from medical marijuana, we would like to hear from you. Additionally, if you are a law enforcement official, a clergy member, a member of the legal community, or if you were arrested for simple possession of marijuana, please email email@example.com to see how you can be of special help. Be sure to include your zip code so we can determine who your legislators are.
Learn more about North Carolina's marijuana laws
Did you know that, according to the ACLU, black people in North Carolina are almost three and a half times as likely to be arrested for simple possession than their white neighbors? This disparity exists despite the fact that whites and blacks use marijuana at similar rates. If you believe that North Carolina’s law enforcement dollars could be better spent going after real criminals, write your legislators a letter urging them to support legislation reducing marijuana possession penalties. To learn more about marijuana laws in North Carolina, take a look at this report by economist Jon Gettman, Ph.D.
Write a letter to the editor in support of medical marijuana
If you are interested in composing a powerful 150- to 200-word letter to the editor, we'd be glad to help. Please send MPP an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a short description of why you support medical marijuana laws.
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To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in North Carolina, be sure to subscribe to MPP's free legislative alert service, if you haven't done so already.