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Possession of paraphernalia is punishable by up to six months in jail.
Penalties for sale, delivery or manufacture are increased if the sale occurs within 300 feet of a school zone if the offender is over 21 and if the sale was made to a minor or to a pregnant woman.
Manufacture, Cultivation, sale or delivery of less than five grams, for no remuneration (payment, barter, or exchange of any kind) is considered possession and not sale. For amounts of ten pounds or less, the penalty is up to 12 months in jail.
Conditional release: The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.
Possession of one half ounce or less is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, most likely suspended. Possession of greater than one half ounce is punishable by 1 – 120 days in jail, with a possibility of community service or probation in lieu of jail. Possession greater than 1.5 ounces increases the penalties to up to 12 months in jail.
Unfortunately, this increased acceptance has given some marijuana users a false sense of security. It is important to remember that marijuana is still illegal under both federal and state law, and that getting caught can have serious legal consequences. This is especially true when it comes to growing marijuana, even if the grow operation was relatively small and there was no evidence of large-scale drug distribution.
Under North Carolina law, the possession of anything less than 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor that is punishable, at most, by 120 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. By contrast, the cultivation of anything less than 10 pounds of marijuana is a felony that can bring up to 24 months of incarceration. Growing anything more than 10 pounds carries a mandatory minimum sentence of at least two years in prison.
North Carolina marijuana penalties
If the charges are brought under federal law, the penalties can be even more severe. Growing fewer than 50 plants is a federal felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Anything between 50 and 99 plants carries the possibility of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
Many people decide to grow their own marijuana because it seems safer and more convenient than trying to find someone to buy it from. From a legal standpoint, though, growing marijuana is a much riskier endeavor.
Of course, selling any excess marijuana will only result in additional trouble.