Nip Marijuana Legal Problems in the Bud

After going to school in a western state, you became a believer that using marijuana has potential benefits, especially for people who suffer certain adverse health conditions. Out west, you enjoyed smoking the herb while socializing with your college friends. It never posed a problem since recreational use is legal there and you were careful to follow the rules. The marijuana topic is definitely a touchy one, however, especially in areas like Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where conservative viewpoints are common.

You pride yourself on being open-minded to new ideas. Getting on board with other activists to seek legal reform of marijuana laws is simply one way you feel you progressed in college. The problem is, you can think whatever you want, but the law is the law and once you came back home to North Carolina, you were immediately subject to the marijuana laws of this state.

How North Carolina differs from states that are more accepting of marijuana

The thing about marijuana is that federal law considers it a controlled substance and illegal on all accounts. However, some states have implemented their own laws, not only decriminalizing the drug but going so far as to make recreational and medical use of it legal as per conditions of a particular state. The following list shows how North Carolina differs from some other states in this regard:

  • Colorado is definitely one of the most lenient states when it comes to marijuana regulations. If those involved meet requirements, they can grow the plant, harvest, sell it, buy it or use it anywhere in the state.
  • North Carolina prohibits most uses of marijuana.
  • In 2014, state legislators proposed a particular Act that allowed extremely limited and greatly restricted use of marijuana in certain medical circumstances. A year later, the governor signed it into law. Its original intent was to help a young girl who suffered from debilitating seizures.
  • In states where marijuana is legal, it doesn't mean people have complete free rein how they use it. For instance, Colorado still prohibits all marijuana use in public places.
  • North Carolina has, however, greatly reduced the penalties for conviction of small amounts of marijuana possession, with a maximum fine up to $200 for less than half an ounce.

By keeping several key factors in mind, you should be able to avoid major legal problems. One is that it doesn't matter if you have been living in a state that allows private recreational use of marijuana; once you enter another state, you are bound to adhere to that state's laws and it is your responsibility to know what those laws are. The other factor is that no matter where you happen to be at the time, you have rights.

If police arrest you and you wind up facing marijuana charges, you can protect your rights, especially if you believe there was an illegal search or seizure. Many North Carolina residents build strong defenses to fight these types of charges by turning to experienced attorneys for support.