NC Senate Bill Would Legalize Up to 3 Ounces of Pot
In February, Senator Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth) reintroduced a Senate bill that would make possession of up to three ounces of cannabis legal for personal use. He introduced a similar bill last year, but it had allowed for the possession of no more than four ounces of pot.
What is Senate Bill 58?
If individuals possess more than three ounces of marijuana, SB 58 would charge them with a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum 120-day jail sentence and a discretionary fine. Furthermore, the bills also would increase the weight of cannabis a person can carry from 1.5 ounces to one pound before it is considered a Class 1 felony, which results in an imprisonment term not exceeding five months.
As of right now, possession of up to 1.5 ounces of weed is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum 20-day jail sentence and a fine no more than $200. Possession of up to 16 ounces is considered a Class 1 felony offense.
Regarding hashish, the law would remain unchanged under the bills. Possession of one-twentieth of an ounce would be a Class 1 misdemeanor, while three-twentieths of an ounce is a Class 1 felony.
Keep in mind, recreational and medicinal use of cannabis is still illegal in North Carolina—for the most part. Only medical marijuana patients diagnosed with epilepsy can use cannabis extracts that are low in THC but high in CBD to treat their condition.
What About Individuals Who Have Been Convicted of Marijuana Possession in NC?
SB 58 would also allow those who have been convicted of possession of fewer than three ounces of cannabis to obtain expungement in the county or court where the verdict was made. Eligible individuals must file a petition with the district attorney to obtain a court hearing to verify the petition and expunge the conviction.
Remember, a criminal record could harm your chances of seeking employment, finding housing, applying for college, and taking advantage of other opportunities in life.