A new survey has found that many prominent leaders in North Carolina support marijuana policy reform. The survey of 60 influential North Carolinians focusing on criminal justice is part of an ongoing series by newspapers the News & Observer, the Herald-Sun, and the Charlotte Observer.
Although many of the political, business, and society leaders expressed an interest in changing cannabis laws, they did not agree on how far reform should go. Some favored legalizing marijuana for medical or even recreational use, while others believed it should remain illegal but be decriminalized.
Former Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue believes that medical marijuana should be legalized and that recreational pot should be decriminalized. Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl said that decriminalizing marijuana is the one action that could have the most impact on reducing crime. Some business leaders suggested that marijuana should be legalized and taxed.
Pat McCrory, a former Republican governor, wants the state to educate the public on the potential dangers of marijuana before decriminalizing or legalizing pot.
“First, we need to educate the public on long-term addiction, safety and mental health issues related to all drugs including marijuana,” McCrory said.
Bias In Marijuana Prosecutions
Some of those surveyed, including Duke University School