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If You Smell Like Weed, It’s Now Illegal To Enter North Carolina Court Rooms

A recent order signed by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James Gregory Bell in Robeson County, North Carolina, has stirred controversy as it imposes a ban on individuals entering the North Carolina Superior Courts of Robeson County if they exhibit the odor of marijuana. Effective immediately, anyone with the scent of marijuana, THC, CBD, Hashish, or Hemp will be prohibited from entering courtrooms for official business.

The order justifies this ban under the pretext of maintaining the safety and health of individuals conducting business in the courthouse. It asserts that the courthouse should remain accessible without threats or impairments to the safety and health of visitors or courthouse personnel. However, critics have raised questions about the validity of this reasoning, given the subjective nature of odor and the lack of clarity on how it poses a threat.

Moreover, the order leaves room for interpretation regarding who determines whether an individual possesses “the odor of marijuana.” While the sheriff is tasked with enforcing the rule, the ambiguity surrounding this determination raises concerns about potential biases or misunderstandings.

This controversial move comes amidst broader legal discussions concerning marijuana in North Carolina. The recent decision by the North Carolina Court of Appeals to not address whether the smell or sight of cannabis constitutes reasonable suspicion for vehicle searches underscores the complexities surrounding marijuana laws in the state. With hemp being legal and visually indistinguishable from illegal marijuana, the issue becomes even more convoluted.

Public opinion in North Carolina appears to be shifting towards greater acceptance of marijuana use, particularly for medical purposes. A recent poll revealed that nearly eighty percent of North Carolinians support the legalization of medical marijuana. This highlights a growing disparity between public sentiment and official policies regarding marijuana in the state.

As the debate surrounding marijuana legalization continues, the ban on marijuana odor in Robeson County courthouses serves as a focal point for discussions on individual rights, law enforcement practices, and the evolving attitudes towards cannabis in North Carolina.

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