A recent Public Policy Polling study reveals that 58 percent of Tar Heels under age 65 support legalizing medical marijuana.
"Those numbers are significant and somewhat surprising," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of marijuana lobbying group NORML, in a statement. "Support for marijuana law reform is at an all-time high nationally, but we had expected public opinion in the South to be significantly different from the national numbers."
Mecklenburg Democrat Kelly Alexander will introduce a legalization bill to the General Assembly this session. NORML and the North Carolina Cannabis Patients' Network are hosting a rally at the state capital Feb. 12 to support his efforts.
"I have spoken to many legislators who say privately that they understand the need to change our approach to marijuana, at least for disabled veterans and others who suffer from debilitating disease," said Perry Parks, a Vietnam vet and member of the patient's network group. "But the public, as this poll shows, is way out in front of our politicians on this issue."