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Is marijuana possession still a drug crime in South Carolina?

A lot of people are asking if South Carolina will jump on the bandwagon and legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes like other states have. As it stands, this has yet to occur in South Carolina and the possession, sale and trafficking of marijuana is still considered a drug crime. Since marijuana is classified as a narcotic and a controlled substance in our state, it is important that everyone is fully aware of the laws that pertain to the substance.

In South Carolina, possession of marijuana is considered to be a misdemeanor if the amount is under one ounce. Someone convicted of possessing under one ounce of marijuana could face a short jail sentence ranging from 30 days to one year and/or fines ranging from $100 up to $2,000. The length of the jail sentence and/or the size of the fine can change within this range depending on if it is the first, second or third such offense.

The sale of marijuana is a felony-level offense with punishments ranging from 5 to 20 years in prison and fines of $5,000 to $20,000. The severity of a marijuana sales conviction depends on whether it is the first, second or third offense.

Punishments related to marijuana trafficking are even worse. If an individual is found in possession of 10 to 100 pounds of marijuana related to trafficking, he or she could face a 1 to 25-year jail sentence and as much as $25,000 in fines. Trafficking punishments are worse if someone is found in possession of over 10,000 pounds and/or more than 10,000 plants. These individuals will face a 25-year mandatory sentence and as high as a $50,000 fine.

Those familiar with marijuana laws found in other states will quickly realize that South Carolina has some of the toughest marijuana laws on the books. For this reason, people accused of such crimes will want to take them seriously. Seeking assistance from a criminal defense attorney familiar with South Carolina drug crimes defenses is definitely advisable.

Source: FindLaw, "South Carolina marijuana laws" Jan. 07, 2015

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