The North Carolina Legislature has reduced the punishment for possessing marijuana drug paraphernalia (things like bowls, bongs and grinders).
Reduced punishment if a defendant possesses marijuana drug paraphernalia.
Under prior law, possession of any type of marijuana drug paraphernalia was a Class 1 misdemeanor. So when the police would charge someone with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia the marijuana smoking instrument would be a higher Class 1 Misdemeanor and the actual marijuana was just a lower class three misdemeanor.
PDP Goes from a Class 1 Misdemeanor Down to a Class 3 Misdemeanor
Effective for offenses committed on or after December 1, 2014 the new G.S. 90-113.22A creates the Class 3 misdemeanor of possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Existing G.S. 90-113.22 remains a Class 1 misdemeanor for any drugs other than marijuana. The change is prospective and offers no relief to defendants convicted for acts that occurred before 12/1/14.
Why Did They Reduce the Punishment?
It never made much sense to treat the stuff that holds marijuana as a more severe crime than the actual drugs. In the past when people were charged with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia the PDP charge was the one to be worried about because it could lead to jail time while possession of marijuana is now just a fine only offense for many. It’s generally a good common sense move by the Legislature
It is very likely done as a cost savings move so that jail space and court resources are not committed to prosecuting someone found with a small bit of marijuana and some sort of smoking instrument. Mainly it means that the State will save money by not being required to appoint a public defender to someone who is found with pot and a bowl. Whatever their reasons it’s a positive move that saves the money and keeps people out of jail for minor drug offenses.
Contact North Carolina Marijuana Lawyer Wiley Nickel
If you were charged with marijuana drug paraphernalia possession contact Attorney Wiley Nickel at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation about your charges.