Locals split on recreational marijuana legalization

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Submitted: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 3:39am
Updated: Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:29pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The state of Colorado has turned hash into cash and the success of recreational marijuana use is sparking a conversation locally on whether the Tar Heel state should dive into the budding industry.

“It could be great,” said Carlos Ciezar.

“I’m not too big of a fan of it,” said Thomas Lewis. “I think the legalization in Colorado went fine, but coming to this state I don’t think it would be a good idea.”

Under federal law it is illegal to buy, use, sell, or grow marijuana, but that isn’t stopping North Carolina Republican Pat McElraft, who represents Carteret and Jones Counties, from filing a bill that would legalize oil extracted from part of the cannabis plant that she says would help kids who suffer from seizures.

“I remember my grandma used to prepare tea from marijuana for my lungs and since then I have always looked at it as just a plant,” Ciezar.

As the state of North Carolina searches for ways to generate tax dollars some point to the cash crop that helped Colorado rake in $3.5 million dollars in tax revenues in January alone.

“It’s going to take a real change of heart of the North Carolina people,” said Sen. Thom Goolsby. “We don’t even have liquor by the drink in every county in North Carolina. We don’t even have Sunday hunting.”

“A lot of people are doing it around the world,” said Ciezar. “I think it could be great if something big happened for a change because that way everybody could make more money!”
Currently twenty states have approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.


  • dude says:

    last I need is you telling me what to do, I smoke weed, I don’t drive, f your opinion

  • craig says:

    Seems we did not learn back in the day that prohibition does not work. People like Capone and this El Chapo dude just made a lot of money. Killing people along the way. Face it; people are going to party. IMHO we should tax it, control it and give the people what they want. I know many respectable people in this community that partake. I do not judge them any differently. By the way I judge no one. I leave that to the big guy upstairs. That is my take on it.

  • ireckon says:

    Alcohol has been legal of course forever it seems-hows that going? Now marijuana !Stupid, stupid us!!

  • Guest2020 says:

    The last thing we need is another way for people to have more access to a drug that impairs driving. The drunks are bad enough without adding more drug users to the mix.

  • 9743 says:

    Most folks think North Carolina should not be in the alcohol business so why should the state be in the dope business?

  • Jacob Foote says:

    Alcohol was illegal at one time, that resulted in a deep underworld full of hidden clubs serving bootleg liquor, gangsters in every town across America peddling the liquor, and a very bloody lucrative industry. The prohibition of alcohol single handedly contributed to the growth of widespread organized crime, ie: the mafia. Now the “war on drugs” has done the same. Look at the Mexican drug cartels, bodies stacked higher than their millions of dollars cash stash. People die over drug money daily. There are billions, BILLIONS of dollars being spent on keeping the “war” going. When the government is in TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, this seems like an idiotic thing to fuel. There is a bigger picture than just your personal beliefs. It’s logical to legalize, tax, and regulate Marijuana as a cash crop. Prohibition solves absolutely nothing other than giving closed minded people a false sense of security from the devils weed. LEGALIZE!

  • Jennifer says:

    Goolsby has a conflict of interest in legalizing marijuana. He has a law firm and he stands to lose income from not having to defend people who commit a victim less crime.

  • 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!

  • RCWARD says:

    If one would look back into the origin of laws agains canabis it is not hard to see why they were formulated. I feel that marijuana and alcohol should be treated the same in the eyes of the law.

  • MG says:

    The first paragraph in this story is inaccurate. It calls the recreation marijuana use in Colorado a “success.” The FACT is it is far from it.

    Perhaps the reporter should contact the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado and ask about the problems the ski slopes have been having with people on the slopes that are high and the fact they have had to destroy crudely built shanties that were built in woods around the slopes in order to smoke pot.

    Perhaps you should also look into the story that the state is having to run a million dollar ad campaign to warn drivers about the dangers of driving while high, because there has been an increase in the problem.

    The other state that legalized recreational pot use, Washington, has had a 25 percent increase in the number of drivers being charged with driving while impaired on marijuana.

    I do not call that successful and believe journalism should be based on accurate facts and not a reporter’s personal beliefs.

  • Lisa says:

    Please provide your FACTS. I lived in Vermont for 3 years and Colorado for 2 as a ski instructor in the late 80’s-early 90’s and pot smoking and skiing were a common factor. Many shanties and shacks were used for this purpose as well as turning the gondola to a cloud of smoke. THIS IS NOT NEW, I’m sure it was going on before my time and will continue in states where it is legal and illegal.
    Have you look at the ads for driving while high, quite funny.
    As far as Washington, they just licensed the first distributor a week ago and no public distribution as happened yet.
    I would call it successful as far as the distribution process in Colorado, the monitoring of THC levels in edibiles, and the tax revenue that it generated in one month alone was 2.9 million in ONE MONTH.

  • Randy says:

    You should probably get four facts straight here bro. The only reason there has been an increase in DUI’s in Colorado is because and I quote “When law enforcement dedicate three times the amount of officers and resources to look for a certain crime, arrest numbers will skyrocket.” That is according to the police in Colorado. If you dont believe me here is the link to the article that was just posted a few days ago.

  • Brian Kelly says:

    There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

    The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority of Americans.. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

    Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

    Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

    With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

    Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that 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!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

  • Colby says:

    Who cares if we have liquor in every county or hunting on Sundays? Come on that has nothin to do with medicinal marijuana I’m epeleptic and it keeps me from me being able to drive a lot if we had medicinal marijuana atleast I could do somethin about it because the pill my doc put me on doesn’t do anything but cause headaches and slow down my seizures if somethin isn’t done soon I’ll be doing like the other families an moving to where it is legal so I don’t have to take the risk on goin to jail in a state that don’t care whether u have a medicine that will actually help with ur problems or not and there’s gonna be more and more people move from nc to a state where they can get it medicinally so nc will soon be a wasteland where nobody wants to live because half of the reps for our state don’t care about health or anything besides themselves and what they want (no offense to the reps who want to legalize) I mean it’s kinda messed up how we can smoke tobacco and drink and kill ourselves doin that but when it comes to a cure for pretty much anything no it can’t be legal it’s too bad?? Wtf u people really need to think of how stupid u sound when u say alcohol being legal is fine but medicine is not to be legal wow what a bunch of idiots out state has for representitives…
    How many people do u hear about doin from smoking marijuana every year think about that and then compare it to the number of people dyin from drinking alcohol!!!!! now tell me what the problem is with marijuana again? Ok exactly nothin the reps for nc besides 2 are just stubborn and don’t give 2 shits what if u or ur kids were epeleptic and needed somethin to help I bet u would want it legalized then too!!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    your own poll shows 67% favor legalization.

    The only ones who must be opposed are the street vendors and the police, who despite massive funding, can not clear them from the streets.

    Both groups would see a massive swing in revenue if it is ever legalized.

  • Jennifer says:

    Lisa is correct. The PSA is no worse than a MADD PSA, etc. The revenue of legalization is more than double than the cost of the PSA.

  • Janet Rivenbark says:

    This would be a fantastic way for the state to generate revenues! Not only that, but it would also free up the police to concentrate on the real drugs. It might put a few “small businesses” out of business, but I know a lot of law abiding citizens who would actually use marijuana if they could walk into an ABC store and buy it rather than trying to find someone who is selling it illegally now.

  • burgerboy says:

    I firmly believe that north carloina should make dooby smoking legal i take medical reefer’s for my morbid obesity and it has helped me tremendousely and i take medical busch ice as well,I have lost a total of 13 lbs and am down to 337 lbs and kept the wait off for 3 weeks, the gubmint jus doesn’t want to loose their “cash cow” which is keeping reefer snorting illegal so they can keep the “sheeples” in line, if anyone want’s to talk abot this further i usually hang out at the hot topic in the mall you can’t miss me :D

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