Lawmakers Mull Marijuana Legalization

Is Weed Legal in NC?

Sort of. but not really…

As of July of 2020, North Carolina has cut down the severity of being caught with marijuana for personal use. (less than.05 oz) by reducing fines and eliminating any jail time. 

Anything more than that, however, can come with jail time and a heavy penalty, especially if you’re not represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney

Marijuana For Personal Use

OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMaximum Fine
.05 oz or lessMisdemeanorNo Jail$200
.05-1.5 ozMisdemeanor1-45 days$1000
More than 1.5-10lbsFelony3-8 months$1000

With Intent to Distribute

OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMaximum Fine
More than 10 oz – less than 50lbsFelony25* – 39 months$5000
50 – less than 2000 lbsFelony35* – 51 months$25,000
2000 – less than 10,000 lbsFelony70* – 93 months$ 50,000
10,000 lbs or more
Felony175* – 222 months$ 200,000

Possession of Marijuana for more 1.5oz or more is a serious offense, one that should only be handled by an experienced law firm. Have a question? Just give us a call at (919) 887-8040.

What About Marijuana For Medicinal Purposes?

In 2014, a bill (the Hope for Haley and Friends Bill) was signed into law and is meant for individuals who suffer from intractable epilepsy. The amount allowed comes in the form of cannabidiol or CBD. CBD is oil extracted from a strain of marijuana without any psychoactive effects. While used to treat seizures, advocates of the bill say that it’s such a small amount, that they might as well have no bill. 

What is Senate Bill 58?

This measure is something of a compromise. SB 58 enhances the charges for possession of more than three ounces to a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum 120-day jail sentence and a discretionary fine. Furthermore, the bill increases the weight of cannabis a person can carry from 1.5 ounces to one pound before it is considered a Class 1 felony. A conviction on this count could result in imprisonment for up to five months.

Currently, possession of up to 1.5 ounces is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum 20-day jail sentence and a fine of no more than $200. Possession of 1.5 to 16 ounces is a Class 1 felony offense.

SB 58 is a significant departure from current North Carolina law. The Tarheel State has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. Recreational marijuana is completely illegal, and medical marijuana is only available to patients with epilepsey. Even then, these patients must use a special grade of marijuana with a low THC and high CBD content.

Would SB 58 Help Individuals Who Have Marijuana Possession Convictions on Their Records?

Maybe. If the prior conviction was for simple possession under three ounces and there were no aggravating circumstances, SB 58 authorizes a Raleigh drug possession attorney to file an expungement petition with the court that handed down the conviction. If the District Attorney and probation officer agree to the petition, or at least do not contest it, the judge will probably grant it.

Many people with marijuana and other convictions experience hardship when looking for a good job, obtaining student aid, finding a good place to live, and in other situations.

Lawmakers may yet relax the marijuana laws in North Carolina. For a free consultation with an experienced Raleigh drug possession attorney, contact Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, Attorneys at Law. Fill out the form below or call us at 919-887-8040.

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