Marijuana legislation has circulated through states across the United States in recent years. The topic of legalization continues to gain more bipartisan support by the year. As more states allow adults to smoke marijuana, either recreationally or for medical purposes, other states find themselves reevaluating their own marijuana laws.
For South Carolinians, it is important to brush up on current marijuana limitations even if, as South Carolina Public Radio reports, more Americans say they smoke marijuana than cigarettes.
Marijuana use on the rise
According to a poll, 53% of people believe marijuana has positive effects on users. This starkly contrasts with 83% of Americans who believe cigarettes are very harmful to smokers. Alcohol remains the most popular substance in America, with around 67% of people saying they are drinkers. 48% of people now claim they have tried marijuana in their lives.
16% of Americans say they smoke marijuana currently while cigarette use fell to only 11%.
Marijuana in South Carolina
Despite the increased use, South Carolina still has severe penalties for anyone caught in possession of marijuana or with intent to sell the drug. First-time possession offenders caught with one ounce or less may see jail time up to 30 days with a maximum fine of $200. Repeat offenders see those penalties increase to up to one year and $2,000 in fines. Higher amounts see even higher penalties with mandatory minimum sentences.
Drug convictions affect people for the rest of their lives, and anyone facing marijuana charges may wish to learn more about their situation and their options for defending against such allegations.