NEW BERN, NC (WITN) - Some residents in New Bern are pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana, and they took their case to the city government on Tuesday night.
Local governments cannot legalize medical marijuana, but advocates in New Bern are seeking the Board of Alderman's support in the hopes to help them with approval at the state level.
"There are just too many people in our state who can be helped by it to not have legal access to it," said Max Oglesby. Oglesby owns Above the Roots, which is one of the only CBD dispensaries in Craven County.
Oglesby, an Army veteran, took his case to New Bern's Board of Alderman and several others shared their stories with the packed room of residents.
"I would not be able to speak here due to severe migraines and social anxiety that's improved with medical cannabis," said New Bern resident Jason Weldon who spoke during the meeting's public comment period.
More than 30 states allow marijuana for medical use, even though the federal government considers it an illegal drug.
Oglesby says cities like Asheville and Charlotte are seeing medical marijuana support get more traction, but he wants his hometown of New Bern to lead the East on the issue.
"We were the first capital of the state, I mean that's something to be proud about so why don't we go ahead and be on the forefront of the green rush and then going ahead and making it to where medical marijuana reform comes around here locally," said Oglesby.
Members Jameesha Harris and Barbara Best emotionally voiced their agreements with Oglesby.
"If this plant that God put on this Earth can be used for a purpose of helping someone medically, I'm all for it," said Best.
Harris says she plans to introduce a resolution to the board to support medical marijuana early next year, but it's unclear whether that resolution will be passed by a majority of the board.