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What impacts sentencing for drug crimes in North Carolina?

While on the federal level, the possession, sale, growing and manufacturing or any illicit drug including marijuana is illegal, that's not the case under existing North Carolina law.

Although selling marijuana in the state is a felony offense, simple possession of what amounts to no more than a personal stash of the drug is simply a misdemeanor. It's also permissible under existing North Carolina law for a person to transfer as little as five grams of marijuana to someone else lawfully, provided that no money exchanges hands.

All other drug offenses that are illegal under federal law are also illicit under North Carolina Statutes Article 5. Section 90-86, et seq.

Whether a defendant is charged with a misdemeanor or felony is contingent upon where the drug they're alleged to have been in possession of falls on the schedule established by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Marijuana happens to be considered a Schedule I drug, along with heroin and LSD. This means that in the eyes of the DEA, marijuana does not have any medicinal use and has a high potential for abuse.

Where a drug falls on the schedule, the amount of the drug possessed and any other aggravated circumstances will impact how long a defendant is convicted of a crime. For example, if a defendant is found distributing drugs near a school, then it's likely that they'll face additional aggravated charges for child endangerment or other related crimes.

If you've been arrested and charged with a drug offense, then a Lincolnton criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights in your legal matter.

Source: FindLaw, "North Carolina drug laws," accessed May 25, 2018

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