Do you want to know the answer to the question, “Is weed legal in South Carolina?” or, more specifically, “Is it legal to smoke weed in South Carolina?“ You came to the right article. This article will discuss everything related to marijuana usage in the state of South Carolina and what to do when laws get a whiff of your pot. So sit back and go through our ‘educative’ article to help you understand the legal nuances of marijuana usage.
Legality Of Pot In South Carolina
Is weed legal in South Carolina? No, marijuana is still very much illegal in South Carolina. In most states in the USA today, weed is either decriminalized or completely legal. However, South Carolina is a state that does not budge from its no marijuana policy. This means if you are a resident of South Carolina, you are not cleared to consume marijuana in any form. This means even if you are eligible to possess marijuana in a prescribed quantity in states like Kentucky, you would be in violation of drug laws in South Carolina.
Weed is allowed in most states today either for medical or recreational. However, as soon as you cross the borders of South Carolina, things are different. Therefore, it can pose a challenge for people who are suffering from chronic diseases that need CBD-based medications. And this is why citizens have come up with an effort to legalize or even decriminalize some aspects of marijuana usage.
Compassionate Care Act
Knowing the answer to “Is medical weed legal in South Carolina?” is the first step towards understanding the big picture related to the issues concerning the legality of weed. Since both recreational as well as medicinal usage of marijuana is prohibited in the state of South Carolina, a new act named the Compassionate Care Act has been proposed.
According to this act, some people with certain medical conditions would be allowed to possess 2 ounces of marijuana. In order for a person to be truly eligible, that person needs to be diagnosed with some of the conditions specifically cleared by the law. The list of these conditions includes ailments like Crohn’s disease, a few types of cancer, PTSD, etc.
Even if the officials pass the act, there would be some restrictions that would remain. Like for example, you cannot operate heavy machinery like cars, bikes, etc., under the influence of marijuana. Moreover, if you are somebody who does not hold a medical marijuana card, you could be charged with possession of Marijuana.
So even if you are given the green signal to consume marijuana medically, there would be certain restrictions that would follow. Violating those norms can make you liable for a class-action lawsuit.
Recreational Marijuana Usage
Even though medical marijuana usage was proposed back in the year 2019, it is still not implemented. Although it has been apparently passed earlier this year, but is still not in effect. Therefore nobody knows how long until weed is legal in South Carolina for recreational purposes.
There is a widespread belief in the conservative community that marijuana triggers deviant behavior. Therefore, this can create sociological issues when legalizing it recreationally. As a result, legalizing medical marijuana usage is still far off in the future, and nobody truly knows when it will be legal to use marijuana for recreational purposes.
Common Marijuana Violations
Having a proper answer to questions like, “Is recreational weed legal in south carolina” or, “Is it legal to smoke weed in south carolina” can make a difference between jail time and freedom. In other words, due to the staunch opposition from the government, marijuana is a very controversial topic.
It is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that the government of South Carolina believes that marijuana has no medicinal value but has a high potential to become an abusive substance. Therefore, this substance is very controlled. Hence, it is important for you to know the nuances of marijuana violations if you do not want to get into trouble.
- Trafficking: This involves the distribution of marijuana or CBD-based products. In South Carolina, this is a serious offense that you can commit. The severity of your sentence would depend upon the amount that you possess.
- Manufacturing: This can also be termed cultivating. In South Carolina, if you are charged with the manufacturing or cultivating of marijuana, you are facing up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
- Possession: Since marijuana is a taboo subject for South Carolina officials, no wonder you will be persecuted if you are arrested while possessing marijuana in your person. However, you would not be charged with a felony but will be facing misdemeanor charges with a $200 fine and 30 days jail time. But, if the possession amount is more than 1 ounce, the punishment becomes considerably harsher as you would be charged with trafficking, which is a felony.
- Simple or Minor Possession: Unlike most states, South Carolina does not even allow users to even carry minuscule amounts of less than 1 ounce. Therefore, if you are caught possessing the amount mentioned, you will still be charged under a misdemeanor and will be facing 30 days of jail time and a $200 to $100 fine.
Ways To Defend When Charged With Felony
What happens when you do get arrested for any of the marijuana violations? Do not worry; if you play your cards right and know about your way out, things will not be as bad as it sounds. If you do get arrested, you have three primary options. Let us look at them in detail.
Pre-Trial Intervention Or PTI
This can be a lifesaver for people who have no prior offenses of any kind. If this is your first arrest, you can opt for a PTI program. In this program, the defendant is not required to plead anything. Once the program is completed, you can easily get your charges dismissed and get your arrest record expunged.
Similar to the PTI program, this would assist the defendants in removing their arrest records and clearing the charges. However, this is a process that the court directly supervises and involves random drug screenings, counseling, and community service.
Contesting Your Case
This might be the least advisable path you can take. However, if you do not qualify for the aforementioned programs and are facing real jail time, then this might be the only option for you. Get in touch with a legal counsel and consult the case. A legal counsel would challenge certain aspects of your arrest.
This could drastically reduce the sentence or, in some cases, can even let you off the hook. Nonetheless, if things come down to this, do remember that it is a long shot, and therefore readjust your expectations.
There you go; these were some of the most important aspects regarding the legality of marijuana in the state of South Carolina. All the points included here were meant as informative points to help you answer the question, is weed legal in South Carolina? And the answer was not what we wanted.
Still, with the Compassionate Act on the horizon, there is a slight glimmer of hope that the state government would restructure its policies regarding marijuana usage, therefore helping people to acquire and use marijuana safely.
Samik has been a literature student all along and uses his fluidity to write about multi-niche topics. Aspiring to be a professional writer, he tries to analyze his topic from a critical standpoint but still adds a hint of personal perspective to the end product. Being a person having a general inclination toward global politics and documentary filmmaking, he also wishes to write and document more about numerous conflicts that are brewing in the different corners of the globe.