NC lawmaker wants to make major changes to marijuana law, including how much you can legally have

NC lawmaker wants to make major changes to marijuana law, including how much you can legally have

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Mecklenburg County lawmaker wants to make major changes to North Carolina's marijuana laws and, if passed, could result in people having past convictions expunged from their record.

Representative Kelly Alexander, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County, filed House Bill 994 Wednesday in hopes of increasing the amount of marijuana a person may legally possess for personal use.

Currently, if a person is found with more than a half-ounce of marijuana it can be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the amount of marijuana tops 1.5 ounces, it can be punished as a Class 1 felony.

Alexander's bill would look to increase those amounts significantly.

If House Bill 994 is passed, a person would not be hit with a misdemeanor until the amount exceeds four ounces of marijuana - eight times the current limit. A felony would not be issued unless a person has more than 16 ounces of marijuana. That is more than ten times the current limit.

The bill and its changes would become effective July 1 and would apply to any offenses committed on or after that date.

The second part of the bill looks to pave a way for people convicted under the existing laws to seek an expungement of their record.

It would allow people convicted of having less than four ounces of marijuana to file a petition with the court for expunction of their criminal record.

House Bill 994 passed a first reading in the House Thursday and was referred to the Judiciary committee. Nine Democratic lawmakers have added their names as co-sponsors of the bill, including representatives Rodney Moore and John Autry from Mecklenburg County.

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