A Forsyth County legislator is sponsoring a Senate bill that would make it legal to possess up to four ounces of marijuana for personal use.
Senate Bill 791, and companion House Bill 994, would allow for an increase from the current limit of one-half of an ounce to four ounces before the amount qualifies as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Sen. Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth), the bill’s primary sponsor, said he introduced the bill in an effort “to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. This is heading in the right direction.”
Currently, possession of one-half of an ounce or less of a controlled substance is a Class 3 misdemeanor. That is punishable by up to 20 days of an active jail sentence — which typically is suspended — or a requirement of community service.
The bills would exempt up to four ounces of marijuana from being considered as a controlled substance.
By contrast, a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 120 days of an active sentence.
The bills also would raise the weight of marijuana an individual can possess from 1.5 ounces to a pound before it qualifies as a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by up to five months’ active sentence period. [Read more at Winston-Salem Journal]