The Guilford County Sheriffâ€™s Department has released a position paper â€“ a â€śjoint Legislative Position Paperâ€ť thatâ€™s been adopted by the NC Sheriffsâ€™ Association, the NC Conference of District Attorneys, the NC Association of Chiefs of Police and the NC State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) â€“ urging the NC General Assembly to ban smokable hemp during the legislative session that begins next week.
The document is titled clearly enough: â€śAction Needed During January 14, 2020 Session â€“ Smokable Hemp Ban.â€ť
It states that sheriffs, police chiefs, district attorneys and the SBI wish to thank the General Assembly for working together with law enforcement on the matter up to this point, but that they regret that the ban â€śhas not been enacted so far during the 2019 Session, leaving law enforcement and the public in a state of uncertainty.â€ť
Smokable hemp, which comes from the same plant as marijuana but doesnâ€™t deliver the notorious â€śhigh,â€ť is used by some for various reasons. Some people smoke hemp to fight insomnia or get other claimed benefits of the plant â€“ while others mix it with illegal THC-laden marijuana that does get you high.
According to the position paper backed by the law enforcement agencies, the General Assembly should, â€śimmediately enact legislation containing the agreed upon language in the Farm Act Conference Report which, effective June 1, 2020, makes it clear that smokable hemp is unlawful to possess in North Carolina, except when grown or possessed by licensed farmers for use in CBD products or for sale out-of-state.â€ť
The Sheriffâ€™s Department and other law enforcement agencies claim itâ€™s a â€śpublic safetyâ€ť issue for the following reasons:
According to the position paper, without enactment of legislation banning smokable hemp, the state will have â€śde facto legalization of marijuana.â€ť
Many other states in the country donâ€™t face any of these issues because those states have legalized both marijuana and smokable hemp.