Last updated 11/1/2019
The possession or sale of marijuana is typically charged as a much less-severe crime than for other illicit drugs in most states, including North Carolina. While the state does not offer exemptions for medical use, North Carolina marijuana laws have mostly decriminalized its possession, which carries a maximum $200 fine for possessing less than one-half ounce. In fact, it doesn't become a felony charge unless the defendant is in possession of at least 1.5 ounces.
Efforts to Legalize Marijuana for Medical Use
In 2014, the Hope for Haley and Friends bill was proposed in North Carolina. The bill, named after a six-year-old girl who suffered from seizures, proposed the use of marijuana extracts to help treat epileptic patients. This was signed into law in 2015 as HB766 and allows individuals with intractable epilepsy to use cannabidiol, or CBD (oil derived from a strain of marijuana without psychoactive effects) to treat seizures.
However, the use is so limited that many medical marijuana advocates do not think North Carolina can be counted amongst the states that authorize medical marijuana. They view the legislation as largely symbolic, but other scholars think that it could be viewed as the initial steps to legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
There have been numerous efforts to legalize marijuana for medical use in North Carolina, but they have not been successful. In 2014, a medical marijuana bill was introduced, but it was killed by the House Committee in 2015. The House Committee even delivered an "unfavorable report" which prevented the House from considering bills consisting of medical marijuana elements for two consecutive years. The issue resurfaced again in 2017 with additional medical marijuana bills, but they were blocked by the General Assembly.
The basic provisions of North Carolina's marijuana laws are listed below. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section to learn more.
|Code Section||90-86, et seq.|
|Possession||Less than 0.5 oz: misdemeanor, $200 fine; 0.5 - 1.5 oz: 1-45 days in jail, $1,000 fine; 1.5 oz. - 10 lbs: felony, 3-8 mos. in jail, $1,000 fine.
|Sale||Class I felony but not when under 5 g. for no consideration|
|Trafficking||10-50 lbs.: Class H felony, 25-30 mos. and/or $5000; 50-2000 lbs.: Class G felony, 35-42 mos. and/or $25,000; 2000-10,000 lbs.: Class F felony, 70-84 mos. and/or $50,000; Over 10,000 lbs.: Class D felony, 175-219 mos. and/or $200,000|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a North Carolina drug crime attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Research the Law
North Carolina Marijuana Laws: Related Resources
Facing Cannabis Charges? A North Carolina Attorney Can Help
Marijuana laws are in a constant state of flux in the United States. Some states allow recreational use, while other only allow medicinal use. Still others ban the herb completely. Confused about your rights? You don't need to be. You can learn about North Carolina's marijuana laws by contacting a defense attorney with experience handling drug crimes.
Contact a qualified attorney.