Over the past several years, state laws across the country have moved away from harsh penalties for personal marijuana use - penalties that disproportionately affect minorities and students. Today, medical marijuana is legal in the majority of states (31, including D.C.), and recreational marijuana is legal in nine.
"It's hard at first getting people to trust me and to believe that the exchange is legal and we are not working for the cops."
- Jessie Garner of the Fayetteville syringe exchange
Avoid Conviction with Conditional Discharge
If you've been arrested and charged with drug possession for the first time (and in rare cases sale or distribution), North Carolina law allows for "conditional discharge" in some cases.
RELEASED: June 9, 2014
A small amount of marijuana meant drug possession charges for University of North Carolina basketball standout P.J. Hairston. The Tar Heel junior was arrested at a checkpoint in Durham and cited for drug possession and for driving without a license.
19-year-old Raleigh student Shaquell Autry was charged with a felony drug offense after police found him with 46 baggies of marijuana. He is facing criminal charges of possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana.
Five people, between the ages of 20 and 45, were arrested on drug charges in Greenville during a recent drug enforcement operation in Granville County. Officers seized marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), drug paraphernalia and about $1000 in cash in the bust.
Police arrested two people in Raleigh on drug trafficking charges last week. A woman, Patricia Collins, was charged with trafficking in opium or heroin. Her bail was set at $150,000. A man, Ian Herd, was also charged with trafficking in opium or heroin; his bail was set at $100,000.
Alcohol, drugs and sex were given as reasons for arresting the manager of a North Carolina adult club, two of its dancers and eight others earlier this week. The club has been under investigation by the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) Division for several months; additional arrests are expected.
Two jailhouse strip searches after being arrested for failing to appear at a hearing related to not paying a fine left Albert Florence questioning whether the invasive search violated his rights. He'd been arrested during a stop for a traffic violation for not paying a fine afterall, not a serious or violent felony.