North Carolina is one of the states that maintained its tough approach to drug charges in America. This led to many people facing charges for possession after getting caught with small amounts of marijuana. New law proposals seek to change that.
In 2018, FOX 46 reported that a representative proposed a house bill that would make it legal for people to possess a larger quantity of marijuana legally, for personal use. It would also lead to some old convictions getting thrown out.
House Bill 944 would increase the legal, permissible quantity of marijuana to four ounces. People caught with four ounces or less would face no punishment. When people got caught with more than four ounces, they would face charges for a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Progress in 2019
In the spring of 2019, a year after the original article got published, ABC 11 reported that lawmakers had filed legislation to decriminalize marijuana. This proposal referenced the same four-ounce limit. However, this was a different bill, known as House Hill 766. This bill also set a new limit on the misdemeanor to 16 ounces or less. Anything above this might get classed a felony.
Implications for offenders
North Carolina has some of the strictest drug laws in the country. Subsequently, there are many young people and men of color in the system facing charges for possessing a pound of marijuana. People following the law closely believe it might provide justice for these people and destigmatize marijuana use.
The law is still making its way through the system. It has not yet passed.