Legal versus illegal
A push for legalized marijuana has developed in recent years. As of this year, 36 states and four territories allow the medical use of cannabis and 17 states, two territories and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to regulate the use of cannabis by adults.
Marijuana is still illegal in North Carolina, although it has been decriminalized in some ways. Possession of marijuana carries penalties ranging from no jail term to 21 months depending on the individual criminal record and the amount possessed.
“With New York and Virginia just legalizing it in different ways, we’re hoping North Carolina can jump on the legalization bandwagon,” said Laura White, owner of Soul Addict, a hemp grower and grower. “When you often have a little more THC in your products, we find that patients are able to find higher levels of relief. “
Berkowitz, White and Biddix said they knew people breaking the law and buying marijuana with the intention of self-medicating, mostly with positive results for the user.
But buying drugs in an unregulated market and without the help of a healthcare professional comes with significant risks.
“Buying it on the black market, you don’t know what’s in it. You read stories about people who do fentanyl and people who overdose,” Biddix said. “If legalized, it would ensure people buy safer, lab-tested, and more carefully cultivated plants for processing.”