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Conway Criminal Law Blog

Marijuana is illegal in South Carolina and can lead to arrests

After many years of debate across the nation as to whether marijuana should remain illegal and how aggressively to pursue crimes related to it, it is becoming more mainstream as a rising number of states are legalizing it. This is medical use, recreational use or both. Despite that, South Carolina has yet to legalize it in any way.

This can lead to people in Myrtle Beach, Conway and throughout the state facing charges and the accompanying penalties if they are convicted. It is wise to know the law for marijuana and if a person is arrested, it is also vital to understand the possible penalties and to create a viable defense.

Discussions are underway to potentially legalize marijuana in South Carolina

Recently, legislators have taken steps to try and legalize marijuana for medical use and for recreational use in South Carolina. There are 38 states in the nation that have legalized it for medical reasons. Twenty other states plus the District of Columbia allow people to use it recreationally.

Among the bills that would legalize it in South Carolina are the “South Carolina Compassionate Care Act.” It would let doctors treat people who are suffering from specific conditions by prescribing marijuana. It is a bipartisan bill that was attempted in a different form in 2022, but failed.

In addition, three bills would decriminalize cannabis in the entire state. That is different from outright legalization. People who have marijuana in their possession that fell below a specific amount would not face prosecution for it.

Instead, they would be fined, be ordered to take part in a drug education course, would need to undergo treatment or would not be penalized in any way. Two of the bills would not prosecute those who have less one ounce of marijuana. If people are caught, they would be cited.

Polls show there is an overwhelming percentage of people in the state who are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana – 76%. For recreational use, it is 56%. Despite these numbers and the prevalence of states deciding it is not worth it to prosecute, there is still a chance people in South Carolina can be charged.

A legal defense on drug charges can be a fundamental part of reaching a successful outcome, avoiding having a criminal record and keeping the personal and professional damage to a minimum. For help, it is wise to contact a qualified professional who understands drug crimes and can craft a strategy for a sound defense.