The state is one of many that are taking a cue from Biden’s expungement order
President Joe Biden made waves last week when he finally addressed certain important marijuana-related issues. The White House shared several reforms, including decriminalization, in which he called for similar action by governors across the country. It seems that in North Carolina, the idea was well received as its governor made it clear that he agrees with pardoning cannabis-related convictions.
Governor Roy Cooper assures that it is now a good time to put the stigma with this drug in the past and has therefore announced the measures he has taken to explore his options to independently grant relief to people with existing convictions. Late last week, the governor took advantage of a criminal justice working meeting to discuss the policy.
Decriminalization was recommended by that panel, and to the good fortune of the many potential beneficiaries, the governor did not put any roadblocks in the process, explicitly endorsing reform. The issue came to light in response to Biden’s surprise actions to pardon people who have broken certain federal laws for cannabis possession.
“This task force has already met this issue head-on by recommending…that simple possession of a small amount of marijuana should not be a crime,” he said. “Law enforcement and the criminal justice system are under-resourced right now, and they should be focused on stopping violent crime, drug trafficking, and other threats to safe communities.”
Many other governors have already shared their opinion regarding Biden’s decision to consider mass cannabis pardons. While some say they will review options, others have already made clear their opposition. Undoubtedly Cooper’s directive to state attorneys general to review their powers is the most significant action yet.