In Colorado and Washington, the push for recreational marijuana became very real a few years ago, when both states legalized small amounts of marijuana sold in a controlled fashion. This trend quickly spread to other states, such as Michigan, and you can now find pockets all over the U.S. where marijuana, outlawed for decades, is legal.
Do not assume this means you can use it anywhere, though. It remains illegal under federal law and the relaxing of laws in some states does not mean there has been a similar relaxing of the law everywhere. Marijuana use is still illegal in North Carolina.
Even just having half of an ounce or less could lead to a misdemeanor and hundreds of dollars in fines. With more than that, you could find yourself facing time in jail. For instance, with just 1.5 ounces of marijuana, you could face up to 45 days in jail.
Think of the ramifications. Maybe you live in Michigan, where it is legal, and you came to North Carolina for vacation. Not thinking much of it, you still had marijuana in your car. The police found it during a routine traffic stop. You’re literally not breaking the law in your home state, but now you’re getting threatened with fines and jail time. That could mean you lose your job in an already precarious economy. The financial impact of this simple arrest is massive and can change your life forever.
This is why you absolutely need to know about your legal options when facing any drug charges in North Carolina.