On election day in 2020, four more states legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
This means there are 15 states in the United States where adults can use cannabis within the bounds of the law.
What about North Carolina? Is weed legal in NC?
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about NC drug possession laws and what it means if you are caught with marijuana in North Carolina.
Is Weed Legal in NC?
Marijuana is not legal in North Carolina. Getting caught with cannabis in the state of North Carolina is still considered a crime.
Didn’t North Carolina Decriminalize Weed?
North Carolina is one of the 13 states that have decriminalized cannabis. This means that an individual will no longer receive jail time if they are found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana. That being said, North Carolina still has far stricter laws than many of the other states that have decriminalized cannabis.
What Are the Penalties For Marijuana Possession in North Carolina?
One of the most important factors to determine what penalties you face for marijuana possession in North Carolina is the amount found to be in your possession.
If you are found to be possessing less than half an ounce of cannabis, NC drug possession laws consider this to be a Class 3 misdemeanor. You won’t receive jail time for this even if you have a previous criminal record.
If you are found to be in possession of between half an ounce and 1 1/2 ounces of cannabis, then it is considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor. Depending on your previous criminal record, being hot with this amount of marijuana could lead you to spend up to 120 days in jail.
If you are found to be in possession of more than one and a half ounces of cannabis, it becomes a felony in the state of North Carolina. This is a Class I felony, which is the lowest felony class in North Carolina law. If you are brought up on these NC drug possession charges and you have a previous criminal record, you can face up to 21 months behind bars.
NC marijuana laws also consider possession of drug paraphernalia to be a crime. This can include things like herb grinders, pipes, and even plastic baggies.
Your sentencing will also be affected by other factors. If it is believed that you had the intent to distribute, this can lead to harsher sentencing. There are also additional penalties if you are found guilty of participating in drug-related activities on or near school property.
Unfortunately, It Doesn’t Look Like Marijuana Legality in NC Will Change Anytime Soon
Is weed legal in NC? No, and the answer to that probably won’t change anytime soon.
Even though it seems that new states are legalizing recreational marijuana every year, it does not appear that North Carolina will be one of them in the near future.
This is because North Carolina state law forbids residents from getting issues put on the ballot through gathering signatures for petitions. This means that it is up to the lawmakers and not the general population as to what does and does not appear on the ballot. People are therefore not particularly optimistic about North Carolina weed legalization anytime soon.
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