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Can You Face Arrest for Schedule 6 Drugs?

North Carolina organizes controlled substances into a schedule that rates them based on medical use and addictive potential. The least addictive drugs make the Schedule 6 list, while Schedule 1 lists the most addictive substances. Even though some drugs are less likely to cause addiction, you may still face arrest and incur charges and conviction penalties for possession or trafficking. Let’s take a look at when you can face arrest for Schedule 6 drugs in NC.

North Carolina Law

Marijuana and its derivatives are the only substances listed on schedule 6 in North Carolina.

  • Marijuana
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 
  • Hashish or hashish oil

In NC, the Schedule 6 definition includes drugs with:

  • No currently accepted medical use in the United States
  • Relatively low potential for abuse in terms of risk to public health
  • Potential to produce limited psychic or physiological dependence liability 
  • A need for further study to develop scientific evidence of pharmacological effects

Marijuana Arrest Charges in NC

If law enforcement arrests you for possession, paraphernalia, or trafficking drugs, you could face anywhere from minor to severe penalties. Possible charges for different amounts of marijuana include:

  • 0.5 ounces or less marijuana possession is a Class 3 misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of up to 20 days in jail and fine of up to $200. 
  • 0.5 to 1.5 ounces marijuana possession is a Class 1 misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 120 days imprisonment and a fine of up to $1000. 
  • 1.5 oz up to 10lbs marijuana possession is a Class I felony punishable up to 24 months imprisonment, and a discretionary judge-imposed fine for a first offense.
  • PWISD (Possession with intent to sell or deliver) marijuana charge is a Class H felony punishable by a maximum of 39 months imprisonment and a fine of at least $5,000. 
  • The sale or delivery of more than 10 lbs of marijuana is a trafficking offense and will subject someone to significant prison time, even for a first offense. 

Even as a first-time offender, marijuana trafficking is a serious charge with prison time and hefty fines. In addition, trafficking this schedule 6 drug can bring a felony criminal record with future difficulty finding jobs or housing. (1)

Synthetic THC vs. Synthetic Cannabinoids

North Carolina General Statutes mention synthetic cannabinoids designed to mimic the effects of THC. These drugs are not actual cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids may produce similar drug effects on individuals as marijuana products. However, labs that make synthetic cannabinoids do not use any marijuana or hashish to create these drugs. 

NC law defines synthetic cannabinoids as Schedule I substances. Synthetic cannabinoids include

  • Spice
  • K2
  • Yucatan Fire
  • Bliss
  • Fake Weed
  • Skunk

If you possess more than 150 grams of a synthetic cannabinoid, you can face trafficking charges under North Carolina law for a Schedule 1 substance. (2) Possession of a synthetic cannabinoid is a serious charge under Schedule 1 state law. 

Synthetic cannabinoids are not the same thing as synthetic THC. Law enforcement charges synthetic THC possession as a schedule 6 offense while synthetic cannabinoid charges are under Schedule 1.

Delta 8 THC

Hemp manufacturers make Delta 8 THC from hemp products. Sellers and users do not face legal trouble with this substance in NC. Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC are popular all across the state as alternatives to marijuana and hashish. You can find these hemp products in many tobacco stores.

According to the UNC School of Government Blog, “…a delta-8 THC product sourced from legal hemp would not qualify as synthetic THC, since delta-8 naturally occurs in cannabis and is derived from the plant.”

The law surrounding Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC could change in the future, so stay aware of the law if you use these substances. 

Law enforcement often mistake other hemp products for marijuana. For instance, smokable hemp looks and smells identical to marijuana. Officers cannot distinguish between the two by sight or smell. Therefore if law enforcement accuse you of having illegal THC products such as marijuana, be sure to defend yourself by correcting them if the substance is legal hemp. You may want to keep purchase receipts from the store with you to help prove to law enforcement that the product you have is not marijuana. If law enforcement insists on charging you anyway, we stand ready to defend you in court. 

Tips for the Arrest Process

You could face arrest if you choose to use marijuana, hashish, synthetic cannabinoids, or THC. If law enforcement charges you with possession or another relevant charge, there are a few techniques to help your chances for a reduced or dismissed sentence.

  • Do not discuss your case with anyone except your attorney. It is easy to talk with others about your worries, but anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. 
  • Officers are trained in the art of asking questions and making comments that will help you talk freely. Don’t fall for their conversational techniques designed to draw you in.
  • Do not submit to any tests without calling an attorney or witnesses to be present with you. Law enforcement officers must give 30 minutes for witnesses or your attorney to arrive and be with you before any testing.
  • Do not consent to searches. If you do not consent, law enforcement must have a warrant or an exception to the warrant requirement to conduct a search. 
  • Do not make admissions to using or having controlled substances. 

We Can Help

If you face arrest for drug charges, our criminal law attorneys at Scharff Law Firm want to help you navigate the court processes. Being arrested and processed for a crime can be stressful since you don’t know what will happen next. However, our past successes make us confident we can help you. Depending on your situation and previous offenses, we can often obtain a deferment, reduced charges, or even dismissed charges. Our past prosecutorial experience gives us the edge we need to negotiate successfully. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.