Washington and Colorado are making headlines this election because they passed legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and over. North Carolina, however, does not look like it will be following suit any time soon.
Currently, the lowest penalty is a misdemeanor and maximum fine of $200 for a 1/2 oz or less of possession of marijuana for personal use. Click here for a handy chart of how the law can punish possessors of marijuana in the Tar Heel State.
As of September 27, 2012, two bills had been tossed around in the state legislature. Bill H 577, a bill that seeks to protect patients for owning marijuana for medical use with a doctor’s recommendation, did not advance in the legislature. Additionally, another bill that has not advanced (HB 324) looks to reduce the penalty for simple possession of weed to an infraction and a lower fine.
The Daily Tar Heel also reports that legislation on the use of marijuana is highly unlikely, especially because the federal government still bans it.
Considering how conservative North Carolina went this year in their choice of President and governor, I would venture to say that approval of marijuana for medical use is going to have to occur before approval for recreational use will ever be considered. If ever.