North Carolina Continues to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession - New Law Effective January 1, 2014

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

Cost Savings

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.



Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.