Politician Info
D James O'Neill (R - NC)
Position on Marijuana Decriminalization

The decriminalization bills have already drawn opposition from several lawmakers and local prosecutors. Forsyth County District Attorney Jim O'Neill told the Winston-Salem Journal that classifying “four ounces of marijuana as a user amount would be absurd. Conservatively speaking, four ounces of marijuana has a street value of $1,000 and can be broken down into about 120 marijuana cigarettes.”

The district attorney also claimed that many of the robberies and murders in his jurisdiction are “already drug related,” and expressed concerns that the new legislation would “increase the number of targeted victims legally walking around (with four ounces of marijuana) every day.”

Position on Medical Marijuana

Response to 2020 NC Family Policy Council's question “Should North Carolina legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes?” YES

But added: If approved by the FDA


A 'D' letter grade indicates that this candidate has expressed no support for any significant marijuana law reform, though they may have cosponsored/voted for legislation for minor reform (CBD/hemp).

From WFDD (2018):

A new pair of bills in the state House and Senate aim to legalize carrying up to four ounces of marijuana in North Carolina. The bills, if passed, could also help in getting some previous drug charges erased.

Forsyth County district attorney Jim O’Neill tells the Winston Salem Journal that he wants to see the bills vetted. He’d also like them to include scientific evidence of any damage that smoking pot can cause to adolescent brains.

From Fox News 8 (May 23, 2019):

Forsyth County District Attorney and North Carolina Attorney General hopeful Jim O’Neill is among those opposing the bills.

“There’s a lot of things that we need to stop and think about before we all jump on the bandwagon and make it legal,” he said.

O’Neill refuted claims that marijuana is not a gateway drug and isn’t addictive.

“Marijuana trains the brain, and it trains it to be dependent, it trains it to crave it and that’s the definition of addiction,” he said. “Others will come back at me and say, ‘well, it’s all natural. It grows in the ground.’ Well, so does arsenic.”

O’Neill also raised concerns over the impact marijuana has on developing bodies.

“This is bad for our kids, and ultimately, that’s my main concern,” he said.

Yet, O’Neill says if THC was removed from the equation, he could see some medical benefits.

“If that was eliminated from the marijuana, then you might be on to something,” he said.

From the Winston State Journal (September 18, 2019):

"O’Neill is a Republican who is running for North Carolina attorney general in 2020. Montgomery is a Forsyth County Democrat who is serving his first term in the N.C. House.

O”Neill told the audience that his mother could have benefited from the medicinal marijuana before she died of cancer several years ago.

“It was hard to watch that,” O’Neill said of his mother’s illness. “And I was her primary caregiver.”

O’Neill said that his father, who is 90, was taken Tuesday to Duke University Hospital in Durham to be treated for cancer.

“If there was a medicinal marijuana bill that was out there, I would be all for it,” O’Neill said. “Unfortunately, I don’t get to vote, but I support that. I understand the benefits of it when you talk about medicinal use, and I understand how it can help in terms of appetite and those sorts of things.”

O’Neill also said many murders in Winston-Salem involve robberies and often times the killing of drug dealers who sold marijuana. The accused killers didn’t get high on marijuana before they committed their violent acts, O’Neill said.

“I’m just giving you the facts,” O’Neill said. “People are getting robbed over the marijuana, and potentially shot and killed.”

“You don’t have to like the information,” O’Neill said to audience. “I’m just sharing what I see day in and day out. And that’s the truth.”

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