Orange County NC Website
RES-2020-052 DRAFT 2 <br /> ORANGE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA <br /> WHEREAS, The current prohibition of marijuana in North Carolina has caused the needless arrest and <br /> incarceration of thousands of individuals, predominantly people of color, for nonviolent crimes, at great <br /> social and economic cost despite the fact that people of color and whites use marijuana at the same rates, <br /> and <br /> WHEREAS, According to an American Civil Liberties Union study, as a result of disparate enforcement, <br /> Black North Carolinians are over three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and <br /> WHEREAS, an arrest for possession of marijuana can have an impact on housing, student loans, future <br /> employment, child custody determinations and many other circumstances; and <br /> WHEREAS, Studies also show that criminalization has not protected public health, in terms of adverse <br /> effects of marijuana itself or in deterring substance abuse and addiction; and <br /> WHEREAS, Marijuana legalization is sound public policy, necessary to address the health and societal <br /> impacts of marijuana criminalization and the inequitable implementation of incarceration-based policies, <br /> and <br /> WHEREAS, the most recent Public Policy Polling results show North Carolinians support marijuana <br /> legalization by a margin of 48%to 42%; <br /> NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Orange County Board of Commissioners supports the <br /> decriminalization of marijuana in North Carolina and state legislation to legalize the distribution, sale, and <br /> use of marijuana products pursuant to regulatory and taxation frameworks designed to ensure appropriate <br /> use (including through age and other evidence-based restrictions) for recreational and medical purposes <br /> while providing treatment for substance abuse; <br /> BE IT FURTHERMORE RESOLVED that the Board believes such legislation should also provide for the <br /> expungement of records for individuals previously convicted of crimes of distribution, possession, or use of <br /> marijuana products; <br /> BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board believes funds from the taxation of marijuana sales should <br /> be used for the benefit of the communities most impacted by the incarceration of people for behavior that <br /> society is legalizing, including the investment of marijuana sales tax revenues for job training, reentry <br /> services, diversion programs, legal aid, literacy programs, youth mentoring and substance use treatment; <br /> AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Orange County Board of Commissioners requests that the <br /> North Carolina General Assembly advocate for federal legislation to end the prohibition of marijuana at the <br /> federal level, with its removal from the Controlled Substance Act, and the expungement of records for <br /> those previously convicted of federal crimes for the distribution, possession, or use of marijuana, as well as <br /> authorize state legalization policies and enabling the use of marijuana for medical purposes, including in <br /> federally funded programs. <br /> This the 151h day of September, 2020. <br /> Penny Rich, Chair <br /> Orange County Board of Commissioners <br />