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Majority of North Carolina Voters Want Recreational and Medical Cannabis

North Carolina is not allowing recreational, medical or medicinal cannabis to be legalized. Most recent attempts to legalize either recreational or medical marijuana have failed.

However, a poll this week shows that there’s no reason to delay.

The latest findings from SurveyUSA showed broad support across bipartisan lines for reform to the state’s cannabis laws.

According to the poll, 72% of North Carolina’s registered voters believe that medical cannabis should be legalized in their state. Only 18% disagree.

This poll showed that 64%, 75% and 78% respectively of North Carolina Republicans supported medical cannabis.

North Carolina voters supported recreational cannabis use by 57% and 32% respectively.

60 percent of Democrats, 60% of Independents and 63% of Republicans supported recreational cannabis use. Republicans are split.

The poll found that 46% of North Carolina’s GOP voters support making recreational marijuana illegal. Only 44% supported keeping it out, at 46.6%.

Majorities of every age group in North Carolina expressed support for recreational cannabis––except for voters aged 65 and older, among whom only 37% said it should be legalized.

This poll comes at a moment when reforms in cannabis legislation have been stalled in Tar Heel State.

Last summer, North Carolina’s Senate Judiciary Committee gave its approval to a bill that legalized medical cannabis.

Senate Bill 711 (Republican state Senator Bill Rabon) was the sponsor of this legislation. This bill would allow cannabis treatment for qualifying patients.

But as local television station WRAL reported this week, it remains “unclear what state lawmakers will do with Senate Bill 711.”

“In August 2021, SB 711 remained in the Rules and Operations of the Senate Standing Committee. When lawmakers meet again on May 18, they could resume the consideration of this legislation. The legislature is then set to adjourn on June 30,” the station reported.

Per WRAL, SB 711 would authorize physicians in North Carolina to recommend medical cannabis to patients with the following qualifying conditions: Cancer; Epilepsy; HIV/AIDS; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Crohn’s disease; Sickle cell anemia; Parkinson’s disease; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Multiple sclerosis; Cachexia or wasting syndrome; Severe or persistent nausea “related to end-of-life or hospice care,” or in someone who is bedridden or homebound; a terminal illness when the patient’s remaining life expectancy is less than six months; and any condition when the patient is in hospice care.

In September, local television station WNCN said that the “bill to legalize marijuana for medical use in North Carolina may not get a vote until next year,” with lawmakers saying at the time that “the state budget and the redistricting process have become the primary issues being worked on in the final months of the year.”

“There’s far more moving parts to this thing than I thought there was when we began,” said Democratic state Sen. Paul Lowe, as quoted by WNCN. “We want to make sure we get it right.”

If the bill does end up on North Carolina’s desk, it will be signed into law. Roy Cooper has every reason to believe that the Democrat will make the bill a law.

Last year, as SB 711 was being considered by lawmakers in North Carolina, a spokesman for Cooper said that studies “have shown medical marijuana can offer many benefits to some who suffer from chronic conditions, particularly veterans, and the Governor is encouraged that North Carolina might join the 36 other states that have authorized it for use.”