A sizable minority of American states, plus the District of Columbia, have passed legislation that legalizes -- with stated restrictions -- the use of medical marijuana within their borders. Two states have gone beyond that, with voters in both Colorado and Washington passing initiatives relatively recently that resulted in the legalization of recreational marijuana in those states (again, subject to some restrictions).
All previous attempts inside North Carolina to legalize or materially decriminalize marijuana possession for any reason have failed. State authorities continue to view pot possession harshly, with some first-time offenders facing potential jail terms and other penalties. Subsequent convictions can bring lengthy prison terms and lifelong adverse consequences.