It’s no secret that the attitude of many Americans is shifting when it comes to marijuana. Two states made big news last November when they passed legal allowances of recreational marijuana use, and a dozen others permit the drug to be used for medical purposes. However, even as these piecemeal steps toward a more pronounced national acceptance of marijuana continue to add up, very strict penalties still remain for those in North Carolina who chose to grow, use, handle, or distribute it.
Currently a bill that would allow for some amounts of marijuana to be distributed for medical purposes is working its way through the state’s general assembly. However, the potential for a change in future approaches to the drug’s use and enforcement has had no effect on the persistence of police pursuit of drug offenders and the severity of sentences that come attached to a possession or trafficking conviction.
One Brunswick County Sheriff narcotics officer recently remarked that marijuana is the illegal drug most frequently encountered by law enforcement. What’s more, as the drug’s potency continues to increase thanks to more highly-developed growing methods, medium to large quantities of the drug have become more frequently targeted by armed robberies and armed home invasions.
Now, when a five or six pound mass of marijuana can net as much as $30,000 when sold to other dealers and buyers, those in possession of the drug may become the victim of a home break-in targeting a house or apartment’s pot stash.
Consequences for a drug-related crime, whether it be theft, invasion, distribution, or even conspiracy can be exceedingly stringent and life-changing. Heavy fines, lengthy jail sentences, and the lifelong stigma of a criminal conviction can all come as a result of a “guilty” verdict. However, with the help of a criminal defense attorney, a reduction or outright dismissal of charges can often become much more likely.
Source: WECT, “Marijuana: the seeds of crime,” Craig Reck, Feb. 6, 2013