Legalization of medical and recreational marijuana have been spreading across the states, leading to increased struggles between state and federal legislation. But what does this mean for responsible gun owners? U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney, Mark Edwards, breaks down the latest in North Carolina law for marijuana use in regards to possessing and owning a firearm.
At this time, marijuana is still illegal in North Carolina and there are no medically recognized uses. If you are from another state where you are allowed to use medical marijuana and come to North Carolina, there is no reciprocity for any permission or permit you have from your home state; it is very important to remember that.
If you are caught with marijuana and a firearm in North Carolina, at worst, you are probably looking at a fine, cost of court and perhaps probation, and there’s always a chance that the judge may order that your firearm be forfeited.
The real problem is if you are caught with, what a prosecutor thinks is, either a large amount of marijuana or marijuana that is packaged in such a way that it looks like it is for distribution, you could be charged in federal court. Unless it is a sizable amount of marijuana, you would probably only be facing a probationary sentence for the possession.
The real kicker is if you are charged with possession of a firearm in relation to your possession of the marijuana; that offense carries a mandatory minimum five year consecutive sentence to any sentence you receive on the marijuana charge.
So, if you are from a state that allows use of medical marijuana, please understand that North Carolina does not recognize that right and in federal law, it is not recognized either.