A recent survey of North Carolina voters held surprises for many. While experts believed support for medical marijuana would be lower in the south, respondents to the Public Policy Polling survey proved them wrong, with the majority of them supporting medical marijuana legislation in the state.
According to North Carolina’s branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), 58% of those surveyed support medical marijuana. Thirty-three percent oppose it and 9% are undecided. The poll was taken between January 10 and January 13, 2013 and reached 608 random voters. In each age group below 65, the majority said a sick person should be able to get marijuana from their doctor.
Currently, there is no pending legislation before N.C. lawmakers, no bill has been proposed that would put medical marijuana on the calendar. But, local activists are hoping that will change as lawmakers begin to see their constituents demanding medical access.
“The government can no longer lie about the effects of marijuana—these people know it helps them,” said Perry Parks, a Vietnam vet and N.C. medical marijuana advocate. “Why we won’t support our vets and put this medicine back in the hands of doctors, where it was until the 1940s, still baffles and frustrates me. The Veterans Administration will not treat a vet in North Carolina who uses cannabis. Yet they’ll treat that same vet, with the same problems, in the eighteen states that have medical marijuana.”
Parks, speaking on behalf of his organization, the North Carolina Cannabis Patients’ Network, says he has spoken to several state lawmakers who privately say they see the need for such legislation, that they understand the War on Drugs is failing and that the resistance to medical marijuana is just another arm of the failed war.
“The people of North Carolina are beginning to understand that marijuana is safer than alcohol and are demanding a change in how we spend our tax dollars,” says Jon Kennedy of NC NORML. “It’s past time that we broke the taboo on discussing this openly in North Carolina. We should join the serious national conversation now underway.”
While support for marijuana legalization or even the medical use of marijuana is at all time highs, the substance is still considered a drug. What this means is that no matter how many N.C. voters support medical or recreational marijuana, you can still be arrested for growing it, smoking it, selling it, or simply having it on you.
If you are caught with marijuana, contact me today to discuss your case and the legal options available to you.