Holds office State Senate District 15
12. Do you support reforming North Carolina’s marijuana laws? Do you support full legalization? Please explain your position.
Yes. As the primary sponsor of the Marijuana Justice and Reinvestment Act, I support the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana for three reasons. First, there’s popular support for this idea. A recent poll found that 73 percent and 54 percent of North Carolinians support legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, respectively. Second, it’s about restorative justice. Our current marijuana laws have resulted in prosecutions that disproportionately impact communities of color. Finally, it’s about creating a new tax base, and it’s about creating jobs. According to one estimate, by the seventh year, sales would exceed $2.7 billion and produce $642 million in state and local taxes.
IJ: Why did you decide to introduce SB646, which would legalize marijuana for recreational use in North Carolina?
Sen. Chaudhuri: “This is the first time I’ve introduced a marijuana-related bill. I did so for a number of reasons.
First, I think we’ve reached a point in our state and our country’s history where we need to acknowledge that the punitive approach to marijuana via law enforcement has failed. It’s had a pernicious impact on poor and minority communities.
Second, I believe that it’s important for us to reinvest in those communities that have been hurt and create jobs.
Lastly, I believe the fact that Virginia has now passed legislation to legalize marijuana adds additional urgency for us to do the same because Virginia farmers will now have a leg up on North Carolina farmers.”
SHOULD MEDICAL MARIJUANA BE LEGALIZED IN NORTH CAROLINA?
“I think you would see overwhelming support by the Senate Democratic Caucus for legalizing the use of medical marijuana….” “So many other states have done so. Public opinion is overwhelmingly in support of such use.
In fact, this morning I met with a constituent who shared with me the story of his spouse that has used medical marijuana and has dramatically improved his spouse’s life as a result of that in comparison to other drugs that she was taking. I think it’s significant that a high-profile senate Republican-sponsored that bill. And I think it’s also a reflection of some bipartisan support that the bill has insofar as legalizing medical marijuana use."
A+ Publicly supports ending prohibition of marijuana for adults - primary sponsor of legislation.
Chaudhuri was first appointed to the chamber to represent NC Senate District 16 on April 19, 2016, when Josh Stein resigned. He ran in District 15 in 2018 due to redistricting. https://ballotpedia.org/Jay_Chaudhuri
North Carolina State Senate 16 West Jones Street, Room 1028
Raleigh, NC 27601