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Nexus between drugs and food stamps in North Carolina?

What North Carolina criminal authorities deem as the most serious drug offenses -- things like trafficking in heroin, cocaine or opium -- are termed as Class G drug felonies.

Those activities -- as distinguished from something like, say, possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use -- unsurprisingly come with notably harsh consequences, including the virtual certainty of a lengthy prison lockup.

Oh, and there's this: Any person who does the time for a Class G drug felony and confronts hunger pangs outside prison doors following release can just forget about approaching state officials for a bit of assistance procuring food.

It's not gonna happen.

North Carolina takes an absolutist stance toward persons who it considers to be among the state's worst drug offenders.

To wit: If they can't find a job and garner a pay check for essentials post-release, they shouldn't even bother applying for food stamps.

And that can be true for even other felony offenders who lack the "Class G" designation. As a recent article on the subject matter notes, "a felony drug conviction [of any type in North Carolina] on your record could keep your cupboards bare."

Authorities take pains to note that the "no help for you to eat" prohibition does not apply to family members of a convicted Class G felon who has hit hard times financially following sentence completion. A family's stamp allotment will simply be reduced by the felon's share.

Is North Carolina's stance singularly severe or mainstream when compared with the policies of other states?

Reportedly, state policy reflects essentially a middle-of-the-road approach. Notably, 10 states -- including neighboring South Carolina -- withhold foods stamps from all felony drug offenders. At the other end of the spectrum -- and reflective of what the aforementioned article calls "a national movement toward more understanding and forgiveness" -- are states like California, Texas, Alabama and Missouri, which have lifted food stamp restrictions for all former offenders.

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Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
101 North McDowell Street, Suite 104
Charlotte, NC 28204

Phone: 704-376-9376
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