North Carolina’s attorney general says it is time for his state to do what is right and decriminalize marijuana.
Josh Stein said Wednesday that the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice has offered up a host of reforms that include decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana possession—a recommendation that Stein heartily endorsed.
“You cannot talk about improving racial equity in our criminal justice system without talking about marijuana,” said Stein, a Democrat who is just winding down his first term as attorney general and who was re-elected earlier this month. “White and Black North Carolinians use marijuana at similar rates, yet Black people are disproportionately arrested and sentenced. Additionally, it is time for North Carolina to start having real conversations about a safe, measured, public health approach to potentially legalizing marijuana.”
Stein’s press release noted that, under current North Carolina law, “possession of up to ½ ounce of marijuana is a class 3 misdemeanor, not subject to imprisonment but subject to a fine up to $200,” and that last year “there were 31,287 charges and 8,520 convictions for this offense; 61 percent of those convicted were nonwhite.” The task force recommended “legislation to decriminalize the possession of