As South Carolina moves closer to the potential legalization of medical marijuana, residents may question if penalties for possessing recreational marijuana may be more lenient. Recreational marijuana has been legalized in nine states and medical marijuana has been legalized in 30 states. Laws surrounding marijuana use are changing faster in some parts of the country and slower in others.
Here are the current penalties for possessing the corresponding amounts of marijuana in South Carolina:
One ounce or less
In South Carolina, you will receive misdemeanor charges if you are in possession of marijuana. Depending on how many violations you have made, you may face jail time and/or be charged a fine.
- First offense — up to 30 days of jail time and a maximum fine of $200
- Subsequent offense — up to one year of jail time and a maximum fine of $2,000
More than one ounce
If you are in possession of more than one ounce, but less than 10 pounds of marijuana, you will likely face felony sale or trafficking charges, even if the marijuana was for recreational use. This could result in up to five years of jail time and a maximum fine of $5,000.
For cases involving possession of any amount between 10 and 100 pounds of marijuana, defendants may face anywhere from one to 25 years of jail time and pay maximum fines between $10,000 and $25,000, depending on the number of offenses the defendant has had.
If you are facing charges for marijuana possession, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for help. Especially in the changing political climate, a South Carolina lawyer may be able to improve your outcome in court.