Poll finds most North Carolinians support medical marijuana

Medical marijuana remains illegal in North Carolina despite 80 percent in the state supporting legalization.

Marijuana laws across the country are changing rapidly. Most states have made medical marijuana legal while a handful have gone further and legalized recreational marijuana use. However, in North Carolina marijuana remains illegal, regardless of whether it is for medicinal or recreational purposes. Despite the state's strict drug laws, a recent poll has found that a vast majority of North Carolinians support legalizing medical marijuana and close to half of them are even in support of legalized recreational marijuana.

Support for medical marijuana

As WBTV News reports, a 2017 Elon University Poll found that 80 percent of North Carolinians would like to see medical marijuana legalized in the state. Furthermore, nearly half of respondents (45 percent) support legalizing recreational marijuana use. Currently, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.

North Carolina is, however, not one of those states. Under current state law, only CBD oil, which is extracted from hemp, can legally be used to treat such symptoms as depression and seizures, especially in children with epilepsy. Hemp contains much lower levels of THC, which is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana responsible for getting users "high."

Furthermore, it is important to remember that marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law, meaning that it remains illegal throughout the country, even in states that have ostensibly legalized it. Federal enforcement of marijuana laws in those states has, however, been inconsistent.

Medical marijuana bill introduced

North Carolina lawmakers will have a chance to legalize medical marijuana this year. As Fox 46 News reports, one lawmaker plans on introducing a medical marijuana bill this year. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the bill will get enough support to become law, especially considering that a medical marijuana bill has been proposed every year for the last decade and has failed each time.

Despite that rather poor record, the fact that an overwhelming majority of North Carolinians now support medical marijuana legalization gives medical marijuana advocates reason to be optimistic. They point out that medical marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for such conditions as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many reform advocates also note that without a legal medical marijuana system set up, the burgeoning medical marijuana industry will remain unregulated and potentially vulnerable to abuse.

Getting legal help

North Carolina's drug laws remain strict, which is why anybody charged with a drug offense needs to contact a criminal defense attorney for assistance as soon as possible. An attorney can advise clients about what their rights are and how to most effectively respond to the very serious charges they are facing.