Is it Legal to Possess Marijuana in North Carolina?

3-1024x1024Is it Legal to Possess Marijuana in North Carolina?

Marijuana has been considered an illegal drug for years. Possessing, selling, or distributing marijuana is a criminal offense, and if convicted, you could face a sentence that might include fines, community service, confinement, and more. Many states have loosened the laws regarding marijuana, and in some states, the recreational use of marijuana is no longer illegal. In North Carolina, you could still be charged with possession of an illegal drug if you are found with marijuana.


What are the Marijuana Laws in North Carolina?

Marijuana is a Schedule 6 controlled substance. A Schedule 6 controlled substance is one that has a low potential for abuse and low risk to public health. Although marijuana is illegal in the state, North Carolina decriminalized marijuana for a small amount for recreational use. If you are found with marijuana, the punishment depends on how much of the drug you have in your possession. The possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor, which generally results in a fine rather than a jail sentence. According to North Carolina law, the possession of less than 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor.


Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”


  • Possession of Marijuana

The penalties for possession of marijuana depend primarily on the amount of substance.  Possession of less than 0.5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor and has a fine of up to $200 if guilty. Possession of more than 0.5 ounces and less than 1.5 ounces is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to 45 days. Possession of more than 1.5 ounces and less than 10 pounds of marijuana is a felony, and if convicted, you could face up to eight months in jail and fines of up to $1,000.



  • Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute

Possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver is a Class I felony. It is also called trafficking. Trafficking marijuana is a felony that may range in severity based on the amount of drugs. Between 10 pounds and 50 pounds is a Class H felony, with a possible sentence of up to 30 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.


Possession of between 50 and 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a Class G felony with a sentence of up to 42 months in jail and/or fines of up to $25,000. Between 2,000 to 10,000 pounds is a Class D felony with a sentence of up to 84 months in jail and/or fines of up to $50,000. Possession of more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana is a Class D felony with a potential sentence of up to 219 months in jail and/or fines of up to $200,000.In addition, felony charges apply to the sale of marijuana to a person who is pregnant, a child under the age of 13, and a minor between the ages of 13 and 16,


Is Medical Marijuana Legal in North Carolina?

Medical marijuana is legal in a number of states, but it is still not allowed in North Carolina. Medical marijuana is not legal on a national level, so transporting it across state lines is illegal. Even if you have a medical marijuana card from a different state, you still are not allowed to possess it in North Carolina. Therefore, the laws of North Carolina apply to you if you are in possession of marijuana.


It is important to vigorously defend marijuana charges. If you have been charged with possession or trafficking of marijuana, we can help. Contact our criminal defense legal team at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to request a consultation to discuss your case.







The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.




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