Legalize Cannabis NC
Legalize Cannabis NC
Why this petition matters
North Carolina is an agricultural state with the potential to super-boost its own economy through full cannabis legalization. A number of states have introduced bills to legalize cannabis and the economies of those states are continuing to flourish (California, Nevada, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Montana, Virginia, Washington DC, South Dakota, Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, Vermont, Maine, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Washington, and Alaska).
How did they do it?
Colorado - Cannabis was fully legalized by ballot in January 2014. Since then, the state has focused on structuring a regulatory framework and increasing the effectiveness of cannabis regulations through legislation.
California - Proposition 64 (the Adult-Use Marijuana Act) was enacted on November 9, 2016, to legalize cannabis in California. The more comprehensive Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) was enacted in June 2017 and combined the regulation framework for medicinal and adult-use cannabis.
Massachusetts - This state legalized the adult use of marijuana in November 2016 (approved by ballot). Medical marijuana is governed by a separate act known as the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana (enacted in 2012) and commercial cannabis activity is regulated by the Cannabis Control Commission, but local businesses also regulate some activities.
Virginia - Virginia passed two bills to legalize cannabis in April 2021, which made Virginia the FIRST SOUTHERN STATE to legalize cannabis for adult use. The bills created organizations to shape the framework for regulation, distribution and sales, and help to address long-standing social justice issues regarding cannabis laws.
Washington, DC - Voters passed the Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014 (Initiative 71) in November 2014.
New Jersey - The Marijuana Legalization Amendment, which brought full legalization to the state, was approved by ballot in November 2020. In February 2021, the governor signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act into law. This helped the state establish their framework for cannabis regulation.
Vermont - Cannabis for adult use became legal on July 1, 2018, through House Bill 511 (18 V.S.A. § 4230), which was made law on January 22, 2018. This bill was the first time adult-use cannabis legalization was accomplished through legislature instead of voter initiative.
Illinois - Cannabis was legalized by the state legislature (not by ballot). In June 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 1438 (the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act), which legalized the adult use and purchase of cannabis, into law. The state brought in $3.2M of sales on the first day.
Oregon - Cannabis was legalized for adult use in 2014 via the passage of the Adult and Medical Use of Cannabis Act. The Act went into effect on July 1, 2015.
Michigan - In November 2018, voters legalized adult-use cannabis with the passage of Proposal 18-1 (the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act).
Nevada - Adult use cannabis is permitted under the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (legislation was passed in 2017). Adult use restrictions are similar to restrictions on alcohol.
New Mexico - In April 2021, New Mexico legalized cannabis via legislature after the Cannabis Regulation Act (HB 2) was signed by the state’s governor, and a separate bill, SB 2, expunged the records of those charged with cannabis-related punishments. New Mexico kicked off sales in April 2022 and brought in $39.5M in its first month sales.
Maine - In May 2018, the Maine Legislature overturned a veto to pass an adult-use cannabis legalization bill. The bill was signed by the state’s governor in June 2019 and recreational sales began in March 2020.
New York - In March 2021, New York passed SB 854-A (the Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act). In addition to full cannabis legalization, the bill established the Office of Cannabis Management and set up licensing guidelines for businesses. The bill was created to bring legalization in a way that would consider long-standing factors like race, social equity, and justice reform. Expungement of cannabis-related punishments was included.
Washington - Cannabis was legalized by ballot in November 2012. The state has seen more than $1B in recreational sales since the measure was implemented in 2014. Washington was one of the first states to legalize the adult use of cannabis via Washington Initiative 502.
North Carolina is a state that takes pride in its prestigious educational institutes. With the legalization of cannabis, some of the state’s renown institutes like UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Wake Forest, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and Duke University, could even contribute to cannabis research. The state is limiting its potential to unlock agricultural expansion, limiting its ability to provide for medical cannabis patients, who have seen cannabis lessen or dissolve their conditions and symptoms for serious diseases and disorders, and limiting its economic ability to thrive.——————————————————
Thousands are incarcerated each year for the possession and use of cannabis in North Carolina, though sustainable, sophisticated frameworks for legalization have been established by the states listed above. It is time for NC to follow suit and legalize cannabis.
Benefits of Cannabis for Adult Use:
- Pain management (including chronic)
- Better quality of sleep
- Useful for reducing stress
- Helps with treating anxiety
- Helps with treating weight loss
- Helps with treating depression
- Has uses for multiple sclerosis
- Reduction of inflammation
- Stimulates appetite
- Has uses for Parkinson’s Disease
- Capable of replacing Advil, Aleve, or Ibuprofen
- Helps with treating nausea
- Helps with treating insomnia
- Helps with treating PTSD
- Has uses for Crohn’s Disease
- Lessens side effects of Hepatitis-C
- Minimizes side effects of cancer treatments
- Helps with treating Glaucoma
- Has uses for Tourette syndrome
- Has uses for mild to severe migraines
- Has uses for arthritis
- Helps with controlling epileptic seizures
- Improves symptoms of Lupus
- Helps with controlling muscle spasms
Agriculture Fact: Hemp served as a valuable crop in NC’s colonial history. We were the pioneers!