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The importance of understanding marijuana laws in NC

Many states have recently been getting on the marijuana reform bandwagon, whether legalizing recreational cannabis as Colorado and Oregon have done, or allowing it for prescribed medical purposes only like in Arizona and New York. However, in roughly half of the states, including North Carolina, the use of marijuana is still heavily penalized. Regardless of your position on cannabis use, you could face severe charges for using the drug.

Lawmakers in North Carolina say the state has decriminalized the use of small amounts of cannabis, more or less. You might not face jail time for possessing 0.05 ounces or less of marijuana, but you would still face a misdemeanor charge and could be hit with up to $200 in fines. Not surprisingly, the potential penalties go up with subsequent charges or if law enforcement catches you with higher amounts of marijuana in your possession. The following points explain some of the marijuana laws in North Carolina:

  • Possessing between 0.05 and 1.5 ounces comes with a jail sentence of up to 45 days and a $1,000 fine.
  • It is a felony to possess between 1.5 ounces and 10 pounds, with a sentence of three to eight months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • The intent to distribute and the sale or delivery of 10 to less than 50 pounds of marijuana is a felony, carrying 25 to 39 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
  • Cultivating marijuana plants is a felony charge.

State law, however, allows for the use of medically prescribed CBD extracts for a qualifying condition, such as cancer, epilepsy and chronic pain. These extracts must also be low in THC, the compound that would give you the usual marijuana “high.”

Understanding the penalties you could face for possessing, distributing or cultivating marijuana may help you decide if it is worth the risk. If you are facing charges, the law entitles you to a competent defense.

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