Marijuana

What is that Green, Leafy Substance?

When is a green, leafy substance that smells and looks like marijuana not marijuana? When it’s industrial hemp, a legal product in North Carolina as of 2015. The legalization of industrial hemp has important implications for North Carolina criminal law in two areas – the justification used to search a home or car, or conduct…

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Marijuana Laws and Penalties in North Carolina

North Carolina is slow to change. So that means that we’ll probably be one of the last states to legalize medical marijuana or decriminalize marijuana all together. While I think that it, and many other drugs, should be legal, the reality is that currently, marijuana in any form, even if prescribed by a physician in…

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Legal Weed

Scott Greenfield on havoc that weed’s criminalization has caused the American people, filling our jails with mostly young African-American men, creating an underclass of people with criminal records: “The worst nastiness we can do is destroy lives. And we know the criminalization of marijuana has done that.”

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What is a Misdemeanor Possession Charge in North Carolina?

Drug crimes in North Carolina range from the more minor misdemeanor possession charge to much more serious felony charges. The most common misdemeanor possession charges relate to marijuana, which is a schedule VI substance under the North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-95. Possession of up to 1.5 ounces of pot is…

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Marijuana Crimes in North Carolina

While sixteen states have legalized marijuana, at least in its medicinal form as of 2014, North Carolina has not. Marijuana is still illegal, and possession of it is at least a class 3 misdemeanor. In substantial amounts – greater than 10 pounds – a person caught with marijuana can face a mandatory minimum of 24…

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Writs of Assistance: The Odor of Marijuana

The Fourth Amendment reads: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things…

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Technology, the Fourth Amendment, and the Drug War

The United States Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on the Fourth Amendment is hopelessly naive, incoherent, and stupefying. Chalk that up to the Drug War, which for forty years has been a tool by both drug warriors and government officials to expand the government’s power to conduct searches. Let’s take one example: Kyllo v. US, 533 US…

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New York May Limit Marijuana Possession Arrests

The New York Times is reporting that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed to essentially decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The move would go a great way toward protecting people’s individual rights given that so many searches are predicated on the smell of marijuana. If small amounts of marijuana were legal…

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Driving While Drugged… Safer than You Thought?

Driving While Drugged is taking on increasing importance, especially as the incidence of Driving While Impaired has declined dramatically over the past 30 years. Local agencies in Raleigh have been training increasing numbers of Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) whose job it is to come to a scene and use various observational skills to identify whether…

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Can Sober Drivers get DUIs?

A California lawmaker is proposing a DWI law that would make it illegal to drive while sober. The bill would make it: Because she wants to make it “unlawful for any person who has any level of cannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoid compound in his or her blood or urine to drive a vehicle.” Cannabinoids —…

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