Half of all U.S. states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, also known as cannabis. But where does North Carolina stand on this matter?
The state still considers cannabis as a dangerous controlled substance, so possession of marijuana is a crime. However, North Carolina’s drug laws can be confusing and complex, especially when it applies to marijuana.
This blog will explore the state’s drug laws and how they affect marijuana possession charges. If you face charges, it’s important to understand what awaits you.
State laws on marijuana
According to the state, marijuana is a Schedule VI drug. Schedule VI substances have a currently accepted medical use but also have a low potential for abuse.
Despite recognizing the potential medical uses of cannabis, North Carolina still criminalizes possession of the substance. Possession of less than 0.5 ounces of marijuana is already a Class 3 misdemeanor offense punishable by fine and imprisonment. Having more than 0.5 ounces but less than 1.5 ounces is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Those who possess more than 1.5 ounces of cannabis will face charges for a Class I felony, which leads to up to two years of imprisonment on conviction.
Several factors can also increase a convicted person’s penalties. For instance, if the person was found possessing cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school, child care center or public park, their offense upgrades into a Class E felony. A conviction for this offense leads to up to seven years of imprisonment.
Alternatively, a person found to have possessed marijuana with the intent to sell or distribute it can face charges for a Class H felony offense. This offense is punishable by up to three years of prison on conviction.
In conclusion, drug possession charges can have serious consequences, but it’s important to remember that there are options available to you. An experienced legal professional can help you navigate the legal system and make informed decisions about how to proceed.