Although many states throughout the country have legalized the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis, possession or sale of the plant in North Carolina is still associated with severe criminal penalties.
Fortunately, marijuana possession has been decriminalized for the most part. If a person possesses less than half an ounce (a little over 14 grams), it is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $200 fine
However, anything more than that can result in a lengthy jail or prison sentence and a fine.
The following are the penalties for possession of marijuana, based on weight:
- Between half an ounce and 1.5 ounces – Possession of this amount is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a maximum 45-day jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Between more than 1.5 ounces and 10 pounds – Possession of this amount is a felony offense, which carries a maximum eighth-month prison sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.
Possession with the intent to distribute over 10 pounds but less than 50 pounds is a felony, which can lead to a maximum 39-month prison sentence and a fine no more than $5,000. Sale or delivery of 10 pounds of cannabis or less is also a felony offense, which results in a prison term of up to eight months and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Not only are the penalties serious, having a drug crime conviction on your criminal record can make it difficult to obtain/maintain a job, find housing, apply for college, and take advantage of other opportunities in life. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can help you avoid serious penalties.