Marijuana won big this election, gaining legal ground in five states, but it remains illegal in North Carolina. That’s not expected to change with the state’s incoming legislature.
Why it matters: Coronavirus has left deep scars on our economy, and proponents of legal marijuana say it could be the jump-start North Carolina needs. Especially for the state’s many tobacco farmers, some of whom have already leaned into the rising hemp industry. In 420-friendly states like Colorado and Washington, marijuana sales has generated hundreds of millions in tax revenue and employed tens of thousands.
Opponents, however, cite a lack of research on the drug’s effects and potential risk factors.
Public opinion: 72.5 percent of N.C. residents support legal marijuana for medical purposes, according to a recent poll. Unlike other states, legalization can’t be put to a public vote; it’s up to the state legislature. Still, constituents play an important role in any path forward through their vote and their voice.