Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In North Carolina, marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI substance, which means that it is considered to have a low potential for abuse or addiction, however, its possession and use are nonetheless illegal. (N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 90-94.) Also, while not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in North Carolina.
For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in North Carolina, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in North Carolina.
It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana (including small amounts for personal use) in North Carolina. Penalties vary according to the amount possessed. (N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 90-95.)
It is illegal to manufacture or sell marijuana (or possessing marijuana with the intent to do so) in North Carolina. Penalties vary according to the amount possessed, manufactured, or sold. The following penalties also apply to a defendant who has conspired with one or more persons to sell marijuana, even if the sale never actually takes place. And while not covered here, violations that take place within 300 feet of a school, or sales to a minor or a pregnant woman incur additional penalties. (N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 90-95.)
It is illegal in North Carolina to manufacture or sell drug paraphernalia (or possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties for possession, manufacture or sale include a fine of up to $200, up to 30 days in jail, or both. However, sales to a minor (when the seller is at least three years older than the minor) may incur an additional fine (as determined by the judge), between four to six months in jail, or both. (N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 90-113.21.)
Learn more about drug possession laws in North Carolina.
A stamp tax is a tax imposed on certain types of transactions (such as the transfer of property) that requires a stamp to be purchased and attached either to the item sold or to an instrument documenting the transaction (such as a deed). The federal government imposes stamp taxes on deeds, the issue and transfer of stocks and bonds, and on playing cards.
In North Carolina, those who buy, transport, or import marijuana into North Carolina are required to pay a stamp tax and place the stamp (proof of payment) onto the contraband. However, because the possession of marijuana is illegal, people typically don’t pay the stamp tax. People who are convicted for possession will also be liable for payment of the unpaid taxes ($3.50 for each gram or portion of a gram). (N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 105-113.107.)
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.