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Can Biden Legalize Weed in North Carolina?

If you have been keeping tabs on marijuana legalization in North Carolina, you may be aware that both Biden and Trump are considering some serious changes to weed laws. Both candidates have expressed a willingness to re-examine the legality of marijuana on a federal scale – making this one of the few bipartisan topics these men agree on. What happens if these changes actually occur? Could Biden make weed legal in the Tar Heel State? How would this affect marijuana penalties in North Carolina?


What Does Marijuana “Reclassification” Actually Mean?


To be clear, neither candidate has announced a plan to “legalize” marijuana. Instead, they have made vague references to lowered penalties and more lenient policies. Trump admitted weed was “popular” among his voters but is in favor of severe penalties for dealers. He seems to be willing to leave the matter up to individual states – allowing North Carolina to make its own rules about marijuana. 


In contrast, Biden is moving more toward the “rescheduling” of marijuana. While this indicates a similar level of leniency, rescheduling represents a completely different approach with serious implications. The general plan is to change marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. This federal ranking system sorts drugs by their degree of danger and addictiveness potential. Many critics have pointed out that it does not make much sense to put marijuana in the same category as heroin, meth, and other hard drugs. 


Perhaps most notably, Schedule III drugs can be prescribed as medication.


How Would This Change Marijuana Laws in North Carolina?


State officials have noted that rescheduling marijuana to a Schedule III drug would have “no impact” on North Carolina’s criminal laws. Unfortunately for weed advocates, rescheduling would also have zero effect on the availability of medical marijuana. Until the state takes it upon itself to legalize marijuana, medical dispensaries would still be impossible – even with a Schedule III marijuana reclassification. 


There are vague rumors that this could allow college universities to conduct marijuana-related studies with greater ease. There are also suggestions that a federal rescheduling could make North Carolina lawmakers willing to consider recreational or medicinal legalization. 


In summary, you must wait until North Carolina legalizes marijuana before you can enjoy this substance without criminal consequences. Even if the new president makes changes to federal legislation, these changes have no effect on North Carolina state law. Of course, things are changing quickly – and legalization may soon arrive in the Tar Heel State. Until then, users may content themselves by visiting the state’s single dispensary located on tribal land in the Cherokee Nation. 


Find an Experienced Marijuana Defense Lawyer in North Carolina


If you are facing marijuana-related charges in North Carolina, get in touch with Coastal South Law at your earliest convenience. With our assistance, you can defend yourself against marijuana charges. New federal legislation is just one potential factor to consider as you approach your defense. We stay up-to-date on the latest developments in marijuana laws – giving you access to effective defense strategies. Book your consultation today today to get started. 

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