District attorney weighs in on decriminalizing small amounts of pot in NC

Marijuana (Photo: Pixaby)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A local district attorney is weighing in on the possibility of decriminalizing marijuana in North Carolina.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Josh Stein announced the NC Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice has adopted recommendations to do so in small amounts.

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The task force says a higher number of African Americans are convicted on marijuana charges even as use among black and white populations is roughly equal.

District Attorney Ben David believes criminal justice reform is important.

His office has worked for more than two decades to help first-time offenders caught with marijuana with no intent to sell, giving them no jail time and working to have charges removed from their record.

“Our priority will always be violent criminals and career criminals and when those folks are also possessing marijuana, then we should do everything we can to use the laws to make sure they’re fully punished,” David said. “But when we’re talking about non-violent first offenders, particularly our young children who might be caught with this, if there’s a way to keep it off their record, we should.”

The task force is also looking to study the potential of fully legalizing marijuana.