NC bills would legalize possessing up to 4 ounces of marijuana for personal use

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A Forsyth County legislator is sponsoring a Senate bill that would make it legal to possess up to four ounces of marijuana for personal use, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Senate Bill 791, and companion House Bill 994, would allow for an increase from the current limit of one-half of an ounce to four ounces before the amount qualifies as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Sen. Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth), the bill’s primary sponsor, said he introduced the bill in an effort “to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. This is heading in the right direction.”

Currently, possession of one-half of an ounce or less of a controlled substance is a Class 3 misdemeanor. That is punishable by up to 20 days of an active jail sentence — which typically is suspended — or a requirement of community service.

The bills would exempt up to four ounces of marijuana from being considered as a controlled substance.

By contrast, a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 120 days of an active sentence.

The bills also would raise the weight of marijuana an individual can possess from 1.5 ounces to a pound before it qualifies as a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by up to five months’ active sentence period.

Read more in the Winston-Salem Journal.

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