Marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI controlled substance under the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act. While this classification means that cannabis is considered to be “relatively low potential for abuse in terms of risk to public health and potential to produce psychic or physiological dependence,” it is still considered an illegal drug to possess.
Marijuana possession arrests are commonly misdemeanor offenses, but alleged possession of some amounts can lead to felony charges. If an alleged offender possesses more than a certain amount, that person could also be charged with trafficking in marijuana—regardless of whether there was an intent to sell.
Attorney for Cannabis Possession Arrests in Raleigh, NC
Were you recently arrested anywhere in the Research Triangle for alleged possession of marijuana? You should exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. Contact the Coolidge Law Firm as soon as possible.
David Coolidge is a criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh who aggressively defends clients accused of marijuana crimes in Holly Springs, Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Garner, and many other surrounding areas of Wake County as well as students at such local colleges as William Peace University, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech), and Meredith College. Call today to have one of our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Marijuana Possession Crimes in North Carolina
- What are the consequences of cannabis possession offenses?
- Are there other crimes that marijuana possession might result in?
- Where can I find more information about cannabis possession in Raleigh?
Under North Carolina General Statute § 90-95(d)(4), possession of one-half of an ounce (avoirdupois) or less of marijuana is a Class 3 misdemeanor. First-time convictions may be punishable by a fine of up to $200, but repeat offenses can be punishable by up to 20 days in jail.
It is a Class 1 misdemeanor if an alleged offender possesses:
- more than one-half of an ounce, but less than one and one-half ounces of marijuana;
- more than 7 grams, but no more than 21 grams of a synthetic cannabinoid or any mixture containing such substance; or
- more than one-twentieth of an ounce, but no more than three-twentieths of an ounce of the extracted resin of marijuana (hashish).
An initial first Class 1 misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to 45 days in jail. Subsequent offenses can be punishable by up to 120 days in jail.
An alleged offender can be charged with a Class I felony for alleged possession of:
- more than one and one-half ounces of marijuana;
- more than 21 grams of a synthetic cannabinoid or any mixture containing such substance;
- more than three-twentieths of an ounce of the extracted resin of marijuana (hashish); or
- any quantity of synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols or tetrahydrocannabinols isolated from the resin of marijuana.
A Class I felony may be punishable by up to 12 months in prison, depending on an alleged offender’s prior criminal record.
In certain cases, police officers may claim that alleged offenders had intent to sell the marijuana they allegedly possessed. Oftentimes, these allegations are supported by such circumstantial evidence as an alleged offender also possessing a large amount of cash or cannabis being divided into multiple bags or containers of equal amounts.
Possession of marijuana with intent to sell or deliver is also a Class I felony under North Carolina General Statute § 90-95(b)(2). Any actual sale of cannabis is a Class H felony, which can be punishable by up to 25 months in prison if an alleged offender has previous convictions.
State law provides that any transfer of less than 5 grams of marijuana or less than 2.5 grams of a synthetic cannabinoid or any mixture containing such substance for no remuneration does not constitute a violation of North Carolina General Statute § 90-95(a)(1). The statute makes it unlawful to manufacture, sell or deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, a controlled substance.
In some cases, people may also be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. When an alleged offender possesses more than 10 pounds of marijuana, that person can be charged with trafficking in marijuana. Drug trafficking crimes are felony offenses that carry even steeper prison sentences.
Triangle National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) — Triangle NORML is a regional chapter of the national NORML, a nonprofit organization. North Carolina has four NORML Chapters. NORML’s mission is “to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.”
North Carolina | Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) — The MPP is a national nonprofit organization that claims to be the largest organization in the United States “focused solely on ending marijuana prohibition.” On the North Carolina section of its website, you can review recent alerts, read recent news, and find ways to take action. You can also find additional information about marijuana legalization, decriminalization, and legislation under the Issues section of the website.
Contact a Cannabis Possession Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested for alleged marijuana possession in the Research Triangle area, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. The Coolidge Law Firm represents people accused of these crime in communities throughout Wake County, including Rolesville, Fuquay-Varina, Morrisville, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, and many others.
Raleigh criminal defense attorney David Coolidge also helps many students at such local institutions of higher learning as North Carolina State University (NCSU), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Shaw University, and Duke University. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (919) 239-8448 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.