90-113.3. Education and research.

(a) The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina are authorized and directed to carry out educational programs designed to prevent and deter misuse and abuse of controlled substances. In connection with such programs, they are authorized to:

(1) Promote better recognition of the problems of misuse and abuse of controlled substances within the regulated industry and among interested groups and organizations;

(2) Assist the regulated industry and interested groups and organizations in contributing to the reduction of misuse and abuse of controlled substances; and

(3) Disseminate the results of research on misuse and abuse of controlled substances to promote a better public understanding of what problems exist and what can be done to combat them.

(b) The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina or either of them may enter into contracts for educational activities related to controlled substances.

(c) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is authorized and directed to encourage research on misuse and abuse of controlled substances. In connection with such research and in furtherance of the enforcement of this Article, it is authorized to:

(1) Establish methods to assess accurately the effects of controlled substances and to identify and characterize controlled substances with potential for abuse;

(2) Make studies and undertake programs of research to:

a. Develop new or improved approaches, techniques, systems, equipment, and devices to strengthen the enforcement of this Article;

b. Determine patterns of misuse and abuse of controlled substances and the social effect thereof; and

c. Improve methods for preventing, predicting, understanding, and dealing with the misuse and abuse of controlled substances.

(3) Enter into contracts with other public agencies, any district attorney, institutions of higher education, and private organizations or individuals for the purpose of conducting research, demonstrations, or special projects which bear directly on misuse and abuse of controlled substances.

(d) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services may enter into contracts for research activities related to controlled substances, and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina or either of them may enter into contracts for educational activities related to controlled substances, without performance bonds.

(e) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services may authorize persons engaged in research on the use and effects of controlled substances to withhold the names and other identifying characteristics of persons who are the subjects of such research. Persons who obtain this authorization may not be compelled in any State civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceeding to identify the subjects of research for which such authorization was obtained.

(f) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services may authorize persons engaged in research to possess and distribute controlled substances in accordance with such restrictions as the authorization may impose. Persons who obtain this authorization shall be exempt from State prosecution for possession and distribution of controlled substances to the extent authorized by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (1971, c. 919, s. 1; c. 1244, s. 14; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; 1977, c. 667, s. 3; 1981, c. 218; 1997-443, s. 11A.118(a).)