NC lawmakers not high on legalizing marijuana for tax money

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Submitted: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 9:27pm
Updated: Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:17pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — When most people think of pot, there is a negative connotation. But in Colorado, it’s proving to be a cash crop.

The state was the first to legalize the drug and started selling it in January. In one month marijuana brought more than $2 million in tax revenue.

So could it help cash-strapped north carolina? Area politicians do not think it has bright future along Tobacco Road, or at least its recreational use.

“It is going to take a real change of heart of the North Carolina people,” Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-9th District) said. “We tend to be overall… we don’t even have liquor by the drink in every county in North Carolina. We don’t even have Sunday hunting.”

Marijuana is taxed at nearly 13 percent in Colorado. From just the first month of sales alone, almost $200,000 will go back to schools around the state.

But some here do not think the added cash is enough to justify possibly greater societal affects.

“If you have a lot of people that are using marijuana that didn’t used to, how could that be positive?” Rep. Rick Catlin (R-20th District) said.

Other state lawmakers are exploring the use of medicinal marijuana. Rep. Pat McElraft (R-13th District) is filing a bill to legalize an oil extracted from the cannabis plant that she says would help kids who suffer seizures.

Although Rep. Ted Davis (r-19th District) says he does not support the legalization of pot, he said he is open to hearing about medical use.

“If it was for that purpose that would be the only purpose it would be used for and not for commercial use or personal pleasure,” Davis said.

So for now, it does not look like people in North Carolina will be using pot legally any time soon.

Rep. Frank Iler (R-17th District) also said he was not for legalizing marijuana.

Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) said she has co-sponsored the medical marijuana bill every year she has been in the House of Representatives.


  • Pheonix La'Jin says:

    Honestly I’m tired of thinking marijuana dont need to be legalized and its morally wrong..I’m your “pothead” and im weighing in..WE are normal everyday folks who choose to smoke something natural and helpful ALL because what everyone wants to believe. Its better then taking pills..watching childeren overdose on a pill thats in YOUR shelves.. rollin one lighting one is no less then your typical cigarettes. .but unlike cigarettes youdont want another joint til bed time..MOST cigarette smokers chain smoke..MY depression meds gave me the innability to care for a persons feelings..lack of emotions.THERE IS A STUDY PROVING THIS HAPPENS..NEXT STEPS FOR PEOPLE WAS MURDER. Watched it on the news days ago..JUST because u dont smoke it its not the devil.. its nothing like killing people but you are with your judgement and VIG PHARMA talk.BUT because of non-supporters VETERANS GO TO JAIL.. INNOCENT FOLKS WHO PARTAKE is thrown to illegality type living..cant get a decent job BECAUSE they have to smoke to control pain… bipolarity..insomnia….WHOS THE MONSTERS US OR YALL..WHO TRYIN TO KEEP THE PEACE..Just like tobacco. .alcohol perscription drugs there are responsible n irresponsible partakers..JUST KEEP IT OUT THE REACH OF KIDS N smoke responsibly.

  • John Irving says:

    It’s looks like the majority that are against it are Republicans.. Time to can all of these old boys… Time to grow up NC.. It’s about time we make some PROGRESS and stop being so damned CONservative.

  • Mike Parker says:

    North Carolinians need to stand together and let’s vote these old timer politicians out of office. If they are to ignorant to see how beneficial marijuana would be for our state then they need to go. Let’s not be the last state to get with times again. Marijuana has so many benefits that I can’t even say outweigh the bad cause there isn’t anything bad about marijuana. People are sick and need a miracle drug that doesn’t cause death like pain killers, benzos, and the list goes on. Marijuana is that miracle medicine that you can actually call medicine cause it actually helps instead of killing you slowly like a lot of pharmaceuticals.
    Just legalize the plant that has been proven to have nothing but benefits and let’s get on with making this state some money, help a lot of people who sick have a better life, and lastly so the hell what if people use it for pleasure, what is wrong with using something that is completely harmless for fun?
    Mike P

  • Nicholas says:

    From my understanding, Rep. Alexander is currently working on a bill/amendment to legalize cannabis at both the medical and recreational levels in NC and is hoping for it to be completed in time for this year’s May session in the NCGA. NOW is the time to educate everyone on the wonderful healing qualities of cannabis. Please visit for the most up to date info on medical cannabis in North Carolina.

  • Nicholas says:

    The people who want to keep cannabis illegal sound like the same people that think Obamacare is a good idea. Both believe it’s better THEIR way, but only because they are too ignorant to see the big picture. Sugar is a drug with no medical benefits, but you sure don’t see congress doing anything to fix that drug huh? I’ve never heard of cannabis causing cavities or diabetes or high blood sugar, have you? Matter of fact, have you heard of cannabis causing anything bad to happen, besides munchies, sleepiness and paranoia? I say eliminate the paranoia because that’s mainly experienced due to cannabis being illegal… the act of knowingly doing something illegal can be viewed as a stimulus to certain chemicals in the brain. Good thing our leaders keep cannabis illegal right? I feel much safer knowing that I can kill myself by eating sugar and kill myself by drinking alcohol, but not kill myself by smoking cannabis. Sounds crazy right, but it’s true. There are more deaths by consuming sugar than there are from smoking cannabis. New studies also support the fact that legalizing cannabis does not cause crime to increase nor does it make the roads any more hazardous. Turns out most the people already driving are F’ed up on pharma pills and alcohol, so legalizing cannabis did nothing as far as dampening someone’s driving skills.

  • jeremy says:

    Legalizing marijuana will never ever happen in this state. This state (NC) is part of the bible belt and is ranked # 7 of the most ignorant states in the USA. WHy? Because our people still believe in gods. Of all the people in this country, 14% still believe in gods. Most people go to college and upon being educated, come to terms and figure this all out on there own. There is no such thing as gods. The dinosaurs did exist, and we evolved with all the other animals on this planet, from the same common ancestors. Not in NC though. We still believe in magic. Its this ignorance that will continue to hurt this state and keep us in the stone age. Not the stoned age. I asked a 47 year old woman from Jacksonville why she did not support legalization. She responded ” its not good for you and it will hurt you” I promptly asked her “How is it bad for you?” She could not answer me. Why? Because she was not educated on the matter and from what I gather… Not educated at all. Here is a fun fact: Marijuana has not been proven to have any deadly or harmful effects on our anatomy what so ever. Alcohol has been proven to cause liver damage and all sorts of problems with our anatomy. It will impair you to the point where you can not drive or operate machinery safely. Cigarettes will KILL you! Yet these are both not only legal but taxed. Marijuana has none of these ill effects. Yet its illegal. Unfortunately NC will never ever legalize this substance purely out of ignorance and blatant disregard for common sense. NC still believes in magic and until it catches up with the rest of the world, will continue to put there faith in magic and will more then likely become the #1 instead of # 7 most ignorant states. : (

  • matt diamond says:

    I couldn’t agree more. People who continue to say weed is just no good because it has no positive benefits are ignorant. Sugar, tobacco, alcohol and a number of other things have no benefits and nobody seems to care. Politicians are pussies, too scared to do something for the people that might jeopardise their 250k a yr salary and full pension. Makes me sick to live in a country where these people can control everything and the population just sits back and takes it.

  • Richard Steeb says:

    The intent behind legalizing Cannabis is NOT to harvest tax revenue. It is the restoration of “Liberty and Justice” and the establishment of legal supply displacing the tax-funded imposition of black market profits to criminals.

    The prohibition of Earth’s most widely beneficial plant species is a crime against humanity. It shall NOT stand!

  • Ben says:

    Time to play “Which substance is safer?”
    – Prescription drugs KILL over 265,000 in the US annually
    – Alcohol KILLS over 40,000 in the US annually + 16,000 traffic death
    – Tobacco KILLS over 390,000 in the US annually
    – Cannabis KILLS 0, none, nada, not a single overdose death in all medical history
    So, which substance is safer?
    To respond use our app from the Apple store or Google play!
    All data quoted directly from the Center for Disease Control website. Employees of “Which substance is safer?” and their family members are not eligible for prizes. The “Which substance is safer?” home game now available in fine stores!

  • Brian Peek says:

    Why exactly do we go out of our way to remain willfully ignorant in North Carolina? Perhaps we should educate, inform, eradicate rampant misinformation regarding cannabis. But what will we actually do? Just continue to cram our jails (and build MORE) with non-violent weed smokers, veterans and the chronically ill desperately seeking some kind of relief, and maintain bloated law enforcement budgets to do so. The devil weedpot is going to turn our children homogay moslim hippies!!

  • Richard Steeb says:

    Q. “If you have a lot of people that are using marijuana that didn’t used to, how could that be positive?”

    A. Google: “Medical Marijuana Laws”+”Traffic Fatalities” and DO the MATH.

  • waste of time says:

    I was walking in the woods the other day and found a group of high school kids smoking weed. Obviously they don’t care to wait for legalization. I don’t care to wait anymore either, im about to smoke a bowl after this comment.

    I will use my young health military age body to fight this satanic law called prohibition. WAR! I smoke weed, get over it, it not like heroin like old people say

  • mitaliss says:

    I pretty sure that people didn’t want to take pills/HEROIN either…duhh!!!!

  • MyNomDePlume says:

    Lets be honest here. There is far too much money for the state and Law Enforcement Agencies to loose to allow people the right to use a plant with a safer track record than aspirin. It is an illogical fallacy to think that legalization would cause an influx of anything besides people clearing out the snack isle at the local grocer. I advocate for decriminalization because it should have never been a criminal action to posses a plant in the first place and the poor souls who have been locked up and fined should be set free and have their fines returned. If prohibition is and was always about safety, then why on earth haven’t all pain pills been reclassified as schedule 1 as it is apparent they are clearly more of a threat in NC than most of the illicit street drugs.

  • georgeosy says:

    I think this state has a bunch of idiots running bc people are going to continue doing pot wether its legal or not so y not make it easier on everyone and just legalize pot.

  • StunnedByTheIgnorance says:

    Isn’t it just possible that this is the attitude you get when you have a MUCH more motivated base on the right? Every elected official in your state feels empowered by their behave the way that they do. If you continue to allow hate to be the motivation for voters, republicans win every time. Don’t ask me to elaborate on that hate comment. If I need to explain it, you probably won’t get it and if I don’t then you know what I do.

  • Ausam says:

    Ok lawmakers, why cant we enjoy what GOD has put on this earth for good? To me, there is no logic behind making herb illegal. You can’t ban GODs creation. Jesus is on his way back SOON so please lawmakers, legalize marijuana so people can enjoy their life while they can instead of them being paranoid 2 hit uh blunt! I hope NC Lawmakers change their thoughts and be a blessing to others!

  • claygooding says:

    I suppose it makes sense to politicians to continue outsourcing sales and production to criminals instead of allowing our farmers to produce and allowing local businesses to sell and tax marijuana.
    And spending millions arresting and incarcerating people for marijuana is keeping marijuana out of the childrens hands in NC so well why change it and make it harder for them to get or allow police to target the people selling drugs to our kids,,better to have them chasing evey puff of smoke.
    Any idea when politicians will come up with another multi-million dollar market already established that is there for the taking but will continue legally or illegally?

  • Guest Timekeeper says:

    As backward as this state is, marijuana will never be legal. It is fine to rot your body with alcohol and tobacco, but pot is out of the question. Somewhat ironic, as it probably does less harm than the other 2 items mentioned. I suppose legalizing it would cause too much loss in court fines, attorney fees and such.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    …and you smoke pot…technically due to N.C. laws, you have committed a crime. Your employer can drug test you for THC…and if positive…you can be terminated.
    Unless………you tell them it’s your “Religious Belief”…and N.C. being in the Bible Belt won’t touch that one!

  • Wrong says:

    Wrong, they have to offer you treatment. Even in a right to work state.

  • Rusty says:

    “When most people think of pot, there is a negative connotation.” Judging by the results of your poll so far 2/3rds of people don’t think of it negatively. 10 -15 Years ago maybe, but not now. Times do change and it’s past time for this to change.

  • Brian Kelly says:

    The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

    Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

    The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

    Marijuana is much safer, and healthier to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

    Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

    The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

    Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

  • IReckon says:

    Last I heard DUI,DWI,death by vehicle etc will get you locked up for drinking. Colorado is at this time attempting on how to deal with “stoned” operators of vehicles, and even snow boarders and skiers! How darn stupid can you be to legalize it? Of course we want to get rid of sugar, salt, butter, bacon, burgers etc. but alcohol? Are you crazy! How hypocritical we are!

  • BossIlluminati says:

    the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

    “any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death” – cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary….nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody‚Ķthe top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states…even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice…no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol…

    Average spent per inmate a year = $31,286 (profit and police over people)
    Average spent per student a year = $10,605 (dumber and more
    in debt, each one of us is liable for around $40,000 of rising American debt)

    love and freedom forever


  • Politicians Stink says:

    Goolsby can try to lie to people and say that it would take a big change in thinking for the North Carolinian people in order to make the general public believe that but it is a lie! It will take a big change in our elected officials allowing it to make it onto the ballot. They are scared to put it on the ballot because it would be very close to passing. Let the people truly speak their voice for or against and put it on the ballot!!!

  • chris mcpeck says:

    Ok beside making it easier on your land taxes, school taxes and even state taxes and fed ,, Sen Goolsby, knows that if this law was passed it would also bring jobs too ,, from making paper. fuel for your car,home and it could save lives,, so why not pass the law ,, that’s because. the medicine company will not let them pass it ,, this is what he and other don’t want you to know ;marijuana can give more money and jobs to the people of north carolina,, like paper products and body-care product,and then for the farmers who can grow it , they can sale it to make livestock bedding and feed, and the textiles company that can come back to north carolina ,so we have a guy in office who has a radio show and lost one before for taking peoples money on wall-st or stock,, and yet we are to believe him,,, look there in office for us to get us a better life right!!! then why are they not looking out for us ,, he said in his words we cant drink in every county in nc, ok i will say this then if we believe in god , and we our one nation under god ,, then God made grass and man made booze,,who do you trust ? sen Goolsby,and the other who are putting money in there pockets and not yours ,,I had over 6,000 people who sing a paper in wilmington to get this law on the floor, and there were over 100,000 people in nc who sign that same paper all over the state, and the republicans wouldn’t even look at it and turn it down to this year,, i say bring it up and let the voter vote on it in 2014,, or if not still live off of food stamps welfare, and keep losing jobs in nc not bring them here,, i’m done trying to get this message out,, i’m going to move to one state who has it passed and make the money i should be making and live good ,,

  • great choda says:

    Thank you WWAY for finally touching this issue. The last time medical marijuana was brought up in NC, there was so much public support it was immediately struck down. So much for the will of the people. These old Republican codgers will die before they see the devil’s weed legalized.

  • Dalton says:

    It should stay illegal because it does nothing positive for your body. Only medical marijuana should be put up through prescriptions. Only doctors should be able to tell people who can do it

  • Kevin Hunt says:

    Colorado has not seen any increases of ‘stoned drivers’ AND has seen a drop in fatal accidents. Snowboarders and skiers have ALWAYS been stoned and evidently are not causing any mayhem now that marijuana is legal. How darn stupid can you be to think that marijuana prohibition accomplishes anything useful?

  • Brian Kelly says:

    Legalizing Marijuana will not create an influx of impaired drivers our roads. It will not create an influx of professionals (doctors, pilots, bus drivers, etc..) stoned on the job either. This is a prohibitionist propaganda scare tactic.

    Truth: Responsible drivers don’t drive while intoxicated on any substance period! Irresponsible drivers are already on our roads, and they will drive while intoxicated regardless of their drug of choice’s legality. Therefore Legalizing Marijuana will have little to zero impact on the amount of stoned drivers on our roads.

    The same thing applies to people being high on the job. Responsible people do not go to work intoxicated, period. Regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

  • CoastalJade says:

    …. because only doctors and Big Government can tell me what I can and can not to my body. Baaaaahhhh Sheep.

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