In the United States, laws around the use of cannabis can vary from state to state. Those who are unclear about the rules around possession, sale and trafficking of this substance between states could put themselves at risk, especially if they make assumptions. Here is how criminal law approaches marijuana possession in North Carolina and its neighboring states.

The majority of states in the country allow individuals to possess marijuana for medical reasons. Fifteen states, including Colorado, Arizona, California and Nevada have also legalized the recreational use of the substance. Although cannabis is legal in these locations, there are still regulations around issues such as where it can be grown, sold and bought.

North Carolina does not fall into either category, as medical and recreational use of marijuana is prohibited in the state. However, unlike neighboring state South Carolina, North Carolina has passed laws to decriminalize marijuana. This means that people caught with a small amount of marijuana for the first time may have their sentence suspended.

While this decriminalization may help some individuals accused of first-time offenses, those carrying large amounts or individuals accused of trafficking marijuana may face more serious charges under North Carolina criminal law. Those who bring marijuana in from a state where it is legal may also face significant consequences, especially if they do not have criminal defense support. For this reason, it is imperative that people facing drug charges in the state work with a lawyer who is familiar with state legislation and defense options.