Weed Or Hemp? In North Carolina, Nobody Knows.

Earlier this year the SBI sent out a memo alerting law enforcement officers about the trouble distinguishing between legal hemp and illegal marijuana. The memo specifically says, “Hemp and marijuana look the same and have the same odor, both unburned and burned. This makes it impossible for law enforcement to use the appearance of marijuana or the odor of marijuana to develop probable cause for arrest, seizure of the item, or probable cause for a search warrant.”

Hemp is legal in NC. The NC GOP is attempting to make smokeable hemp illegal in North Carolina to resolve this problem rather than easing up on marijuana restrictions. Smokeable hemp is not dangerous and does not provide a high. However, because North Carolina police do not possess the technology to differentiate between hemp and marijuana in the field, the government simply wants to put a band-aid on the issue. Obviously this is ridiculous and unacceptable.

Marijuana is NOT tested in a lab for misdemeanor cases in North Carolina. This means that it might be worth fighting your marijuana citation in court by taking your case to trial. This will not be a jury trial — it will be a bench trail in front of a district court judge. If you are found guilty, you have the right to appeal to superior court and have a jury trial.

If it’s your first offense, you might be better off going through the 90-96 program to have your charge dismissed. However, if you are willing to face the possibility of a misdemeanor conviction on your record, then it could be worth it to fight the charge. If you are found not-guilty, you may be able to have the charge expunged from your record.

If your car or personal items were searched because the cop “smelled marijuana,” you likely have a good argument. Cops often cite “odor of marijuana” as their reason for conducting a warrantless stop or search. Do NOT let a police officer search your car just because he claims he smells marijuana.

This is a rolled hemp joint. It looks and smells just like weed, but is legal (for now) in NC.

Do you want to fight your charge? Call William Pruden at 919-880-2124 for a free consultation on your simple possession 90-95(D)(4) charge.

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