Nowadays, marijuana can be a controversial topic. The rules now vary by state, with some states decriminalizing and even legalizing marijuana use.
Keeping up with the details of the nationwide debate over cannabis can be complex. However, here are some important elements that individuals in North Carolina must know.
Reminder: Marijuana is still illegal in NC
Marijuana use is still against the law in North Carolina. State lawmakers have put forward bills to legalize marijuana, but the outcome of these proposed changes in law is uncertain. Many other states legalized the substance, including Virginia, our neighbor to the north. Even federal regulations are changing, albeit slowly.
This is still not the case in North Carolina. Regardless of whether it is for medical or recreational use, marijuana use could put you at risk of facing:
- Misdemeanor charges for possession, depending on the amount
- Felony charges for trafficking or selling the substance
Marijuana is a Schedule VI drug under North Carolina law. This means it is less addictive and dangerous than other controlled substances. Therefore, marijuana possession may not carry the same penalties as cocaine possession, but that does not mean the charges are less serious. Opinions might vary regarding marijuana across the country, but a conviction on your record could still pose a serious risk to your future.
Marijuana charges are up in North Carolina
Despite being illegal in our state, it seems that the use of marijuana is widespread. According to the U.S. News & World Report, North Carolina has the third highest rate of arrests for marijuana in the country as of 2021.
As we have discussed before, increasing rates of a particular offense often result in increased attention from law enforcement. You must take steps to protect yourself against the risk of criminal charges.