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Marijuana laws still harsh in North Carolina

| Jul 24, 2020 | criminal law

The possession of marijuana may be the grayest legal area in the United States today. In some states, buying marijuana is not much different than buying groceries; people can simply walk into a cannabis retailer, show their IDs and browse a vast collection. North Carolina, however, is not one of those states.

Still, the possession of modest amounts of marijuana in North Carolina for people over 21 is not as big of a deal as it used to be. Possessing less than 14 grams of marijuana is not a very serious crime; it is more like a traffic citation with offenders facing a small fine of up to $200 per infraction.

People who are caught with more than 14 grams but less than 42 grams are charged with misdemeanor possession and face up to 45 days in jail, a $1,000 fine or both. The possession of more than 42 grams is still a felony, and offenders face a prison sentence, the length of which varies depending on the amount they possess when arrested.

North Carolina has seen numerous efforts to legalize the drug in recent years. In 2014, North Carolina saw the proposition of the Hope for Haley and Friends Bill, which was ultimately passed and allows people with epilepsy to use CBD for medical use. This is a far cry from comprehensive medical use, though, and nowhere close to legalizing the drug’s recreational use. The North Carolina General Assembly shot down several subsequent bills aimed at expanding medical marijuana use.

People facing marijuana possession charges in North Carolina should carefully consider their criminal defense. They may want to contact an experienced criminal attorney who is licensed in North Carolina. Someone who takes their possession charge seriously may be able to work with an attorney to get the charges reduced or dismissed.