July 8, 2022 7:00am

Legalize it already! Latest Triangle Power Poll Shows Most Favor Marijuana Legislation

If only the NCGA Republicans could be convinced...

Photo of Leigh Tauss
Cary, NC Correspondent

The North Carolina General Assembly passed the buck on legalizing medical marijuana last week, despite removing hemp from the state’s controlled substances list just before protections on the sale and production of hemp and CBD products were set to expire. The move was applauded by hemp producers in the state, who worried the looming expiration of the pilot program that had temporarily permitted the sale and production of the plant would put them out of business.

Nationwide, 38 states have legalized medical marijuana and of those 19 allow for the sale and production of recreational marijuana. North Carolina isn’t likely to join that list in the near future unless Republican legislators show a change of heart. A bill to legalize medical marijuana stalled out after passing the state Senate recently, remaining in the limbo of the House rules committee for further review. The legislative term ended last week, meaning the bill won’t be taken up again until the NCGA reconvenes.

In a last-ditch effort, Democrats tried to bring the bill to the House floor last month. Moore responded cavalierly: “You should’ve asked me at 4:20."
Republicans may think the pot debate is a joke, but Triangle influencers don’t.

According to our recent poll, respondents overwhelmingly backed marijuana legislation. More than two-thirds of those surveyed this month said they favored full legalization and 77% think at least medical marijuana should be legalized.

Support for medical marijuana legalization crosses party lines, a WRAL poll from earlier this year found, with 68 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of unaffiliated voters backing legalization.

A mere 7% of those surveyed were against legalizing medical marijuana, with another 12% saying they would be in favor of medical marijuana only for certain conditions and with heavy restrictions. Only 4% of folks didn’t care one way or another.

Full legalization had slightly less support: 70% of respondents said they’d want to see recreational marijuana in North Carolina while 18% want it to remain illegal. Another 7% favored decriminalization, but not full legalization.

Just out of curiosity, I asked how many of you had actually tried marijuana. Just under half of respondents say they've tried marijuana and 10% said they had tried CBD products, which are derived from hemp but do not produce the high associated with traditional marijuana. Another 7% said they’d be open to trying both marijuana and CBD. Just 21% of voters said they’d never tried any marijuana product, while 12% would “rather not say.”

We see you. Wonder how many Republicans in the state legislature would respond the same way.

About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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