New Bern Board of Aldermen strikes down memo supporting legalization of medical marijuana

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Conversations about legalizing medical marijuana are happening across the country, including the East.

New Bern’s Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday night against supporting efforts to legalize medical marijuana.

Maxwell Oglesby, a New Bern resident, is leading the charge.

The issue became a priority for Oglesby after cancer claimed his brother.

“You become a fraction of yourself when you go through chemo treatments. While we were in that room they got out all these clipboards and said cannabis does help,” said Oglesby.

He wishes medical marijuana had been available legally to east his brother’s pain.

“You don’t have to smoke it. You can drop it as oil. You can eat it. You can rub it on. Those types of things do help,” said Oglesby.

Oglesby’s campaign started in October, trying to get a letter of support for legalization from New Bern’s Board of Aldermen.

Ward Two Alderwoman Jameesha Harris said she’s backed Oglesby from the beginning.

“For an individual, a constituent that votes us in comes in to ask us for support, just a support letter to say we support you going to the next level, and you don’t do them justice and you vote no… That’s the problem with politics,” said Harris.

On Tuesday, in a 5-2 vote, the board said no.

Mayor Dana Outlaw said the “what ifs” of supporting the legalization issue make leaders nervous.

“Ultimately, if the state of North Carolina came back and said okay we’re going to make this a local option you can have it, how are we going to enforce it,” said Outlaw.

The set back isn’t discouraging Oglesby.

“I really think these Aldermen that voted no against this need to do some soul searching because the citizens are speaking up,” said Oglesby.

Oglesby said he and Alderwoman Harris will speak to more local and state leaders across North Carolina.

He’ll be back for next month’s Board of Aldermen meeting, trying to get support.

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