South Carolina Marijuana Laws
The purchase, transport, and use of cannabis are all governed by South Carolina law. In terms of the United States as a whole, South Carolina’s marijuana regulations are among the most stringent and severe in the country. However, to cultivate or process low-THC/high-CBD oil, one must first get the necessary licenses and permits. A limited subset of patients with epilepsy that has not responded to standard therapy may be candidates for medicinal cannabis with no more than 0.9% THC. Is Marijuana legal in South Carolina or not? If you’re looking to find the answer to this question, we’re gonna cover it for you in this article by TravelDailyNews.
Is Marijuana Legal in South Carolina?
Marijuana remains strictly prohibited by law in South Carolina. South Carolina does not have a medical marijuana exemption like other states. Thus, those with qualifying medical conditions cannot get a prescription for medical marijuana from their doctor.
Because the use of marijuana for either recreational or therapeutic purposes is illegal, locals need to understand their legal rights to prevent unintentional or intentional violations of state criminal laws. Possession of marijuana may have serious legal consequences. If found guilty, defendants may have to pay hefty fines and perhaps time in prison.
The Most Common Marijuana-Related Offenses
Because of its great potential for misuse and lack of approved medicinal value, marijuana is classed as a Schedule I restricted drug. In South Carolina, possessing any quantity of marijuana is illegal.
1. Trafficking Marijuana
In South Carolina, selling, transporting, or dispersing marijuana is classified as a trafficking violation. South Carolina law specifies several degrees of imprisonment for marijuana trafficking depending on the quantity involved. If you are found guilty of trafficking, you face a mandatory jail term unless the charges against you may be dismissed or significantly reduced.
2. Manufacturing Marijuana
The cultivation, transformation, or production of cannabis with the commercial sale or distribution of the end product is known as marijuana manufacturing. Marijuana manufacture is a crime in South Carolina, with a maximum sentence of 5 years in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000.
3. Possessing Marijuana
Any quantity of marijuana in your possession is illegal. Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison and/or a $200 fine. If the amount is more than one ounce, it is presumed to have been sold, and the penalties increase dramatically, including the possibility of imprisonment.
4. Simple Marijuana Possession
If accused of possessing one ounce (28 grams) or less of marijuana, the offense of simple possession may be brought against them. The maximum penalty for this crime is 30 days in prison and a fine of between $100 and $200.
Three Methods for Defending Against Marijuana Charges
People may be arrested for marijuana possession for a variety of reasons, like sharing a brownie with a friend who has some or forgetting about the gummies you stowed in your glove box before crossing state borders.
Even though drug offenses carry harsh punishments in South Carolina, you can fight marijuana charges in court by working with a skilled criminal defense lawyer. These lawyers can use their extensive understanding of criminal law and its specifics to support your case with relevant evidence and direct your legal actions in the courtroom.
If you’re facing charges for marijuana possession in South Carolina, you may use the following common strategies:
Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI)
For offenders who have committed few or no crimes before, this beneficial program may be a great choice. If you’ve been arrested for marijuana but have since completed the PTI program, you may have the charges dropped and your record cleared. The defendant need not enter a plea of guilt or innocence.
Conditional discharges, like PTIs, are unique programs designed to assist offenders in having their arrest records sealed and charges against them dropped. Mandatory conditions include community work, drug therapy, and random drug testing, all under the direct supervision of the court.
The defendant and their counsel are disputing aspects of the prosecution’s case. Procedural flaws (such as faulty measurements or testing of chemicals) and constitutional violations (such as a search that breached the defendant’s constitutional rights) are other common grounds for dismissal of charges or acquittal.
Compassionate Care Act of South Carolina
The Compassionate Care Act, or Senate Bill 423, would allow THC to be used medicinally in South Carolina, guaranteeing qualified patients’ utilization of medical marijuana through a doctor’s prescription. The Senate committee in charge of health care gave preliminary approval to this measure.
Proposed Marijuana Decriminalization Laws
Decriminalization of marijuana is the subject of many pending proposals in South Carolina. It wouldn’t make pot legal for recreational use, and the drug would still be banned, but penalties for marijuana crimes would be lightened state-wide. Some provisions of the law are as follows:
H3561: To decriminalize marijuana possession for amounts up to 1 ounce, this bill is seeking to amend certain regulated substance offenses and penalties found in Sections 44-53-370, 44-53-375, and 44-53-450 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
H3803: Possession of less than 28 grams (1 oz) of marijuana would no longer be a criminal violation under the proposed amendment to Section 44-53-370 of the South Carolina Code.
Laws Regarding CBD and Delta-8
In South Carolina, CBD from hemp is permitted if the total amount of THC is less than 0.3%. South Carolina does not have access to medicinal marijuana, but they do have access to medical CBD. Low-THC cannabidiol oil was approved for use by individuals with certain types of epilepsy and comparable disorders that cause seizures in 2014.
In South Carolina, the legal status of cannabis products produced from hemp, such as delta-8, is unclear. Delta-8 and other cannabinoids made from hemp are not lawful under the 2018 Farm Bill, according to a document from 2021 written by state attorney general Alan Wilson. Police have started raiding stores selling delta-8 cannabis, so it may not be long until it is outlawed state-wide.
The penalties for marijuana possession are severe, so having an ally who is also well-versed in the law is crucial. Your South Carolina drug criminal attorney will be at your side throughout the process, from the first police interview to the opening statements at trial.