The debate over medical marijuana has been around for years but has heated up in South Carolina. Recently, the state legislature debated a new measure aimed at legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. The bill’s sponsor said the measure calls for much stricter regulations than similar bills in other states.
Cannabis laws have been changing rapidly in the United States in recent years, and 36 states now have some kind of medical marijuana law on the books. A growing number of states allow recreational use of cannabis under certain conditions.
For the time being however, marijuana remains illegal under South Carolina and federal law. People who are arrested on marijuana-related charges in our state face the possibility of steep fines, long sentences behind bars and other penalties.
Stiff penalties under South Carolina law
Possession of 1 ounce or less is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, but can still carry a sentence of up to 30 days in jail in addition to a fine of up to $200. A second offense can carry a sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Penalties are much more severe for possession of larger amounts or for sale and trafficking. Those found in possession of more than a specified amount are presumed to be trafficking marijuana.
Sale of up to 10 pounds of cannabis is prosecuted as a felony, and can carry a prison sentence of up to five years, along with a fine of up to $5,000.
If you are in a difficult legal situation concerning drug possession, solid legal advice from an astute South Carolina lawyer may prove to be invaluable to your case.