NC legislators file bill to decriminalize up to 4 ounces of marijuana

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Four North Carolina House Democrats are pushing for the state to decriminalize possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana.

HB 766, filed Monday, would change state law so that anyone found to have 4 ounces or less of marijuana would not face penalties or charges for possession of a controlled substance.

State Representatives John Autry, Allison Dahle, Pricey Harrison and Zack Hawkins, all Democrats, are the primary sponsors of the bill. Eight other Democrats are also sponsoring the bill.

HB 766 would also bump up the threshold for misdemeanor and felony charges.

Currently, possessing more than 0.5 ounces is a Class 1 misdemeanor and more than 1.5 ounces is a Class 1 felony.

HB 766 would revise the law to make possession of more than 4 ounces a Class 1 misdemeanor. Anything over 16 ounces would be a Class 1 felony.

Anyone who was previously convicted of possession of marijuana could have their convictions expunged under the new law by filing a petition to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The bill passed its first reading and was referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House.

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