Updated on April 26, 2018.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
North Carolina Medical Marijuana Facts
While advocates continue to push for a more comprehensive system, the unfortunate North Carolina medical marijuana facts are these: there is a very limited number of patients who can access cannabis and they can only take cannabidiol (CBD) oil. And they can’t even find that within the state’s boundaries. As a result, they have to go outside of North Carolina in order to purchase the extract.
Otherwise, they have to risk arrest by purchasing marijuana illegally or they have to use prescription medications to relieve their suffering. This can lead to devastating side effects, and even carries the risk of a potentially fatal overdose of an opioid or another powerful drug.
Medical Marijuana Facts for North Carolina
- State Representative Kelly Alexander introduced a bill to the state legislature in 2015 that would have created a comprehensive medical cannabis program. It would have greatly increased the number of medical conditions that would qualify and would also have protected them from arrests and potential criminal convictions.
- The bill would have also established a tightly regulated system of not only cultivating weed but also producing and distributing it in an efficient, beneficial fashion. This would ensure that patients would have access to safe medical weed. However, in March of 2015, the bill was reported “unfavorably” by the North Carolina House Judiciary Committee. This means it was voted down and did not reach the House for a full vote.
- Alexander was planning to propose a constitutional amendment to expand the state’s medical cannabis program in 2017. If approved, North Carolina residents would be allowed to vote on the issue.
- State legislators did, however, vote in 2014 to allow patients suffering from epileptic seizures to legally use CBD oil in order to address their symptoms.
- One of the more interesting marijuana facts for North Carolina is that possessing a small amount of weed has been decriminalized since 1977. The problem is that even a first offense still carries with it the possibility of a suspended sentence. Unlike many other states that have decriminalized pot, a first offense in North Carolina is a misdemeanor charge rather than a civil infraction.
- A recent poll conducted by a Greensboro television station showed that 71 percent of viewers who participated said that marijuana use should be legal in North Carolina, while 17 percent said it should only be legal for medicinal purposes. Another 12 percent said it should not be legal under any circumstances.
- Among the more important North Carolina marijuana facts are the penalties for possession. Anyone caught with a half an ounce or less will be fined up to $200. He or she will be charged with a misdemeanor, but the sentence will be suspended. Possession of .5 to 1.5 ounces is punishable by anywhere from one to 45 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Check back with MarijuanaDoctors.com often if you’re interested in learning more medical marijuana facts for North Carolina or any other state. We’ll keep you thoroughly updated on this extremely important issue.