The Palmetto State Is Strict on Marijuana
South Carolina has a lot of sightseeing opportunities for the outdoor aficionados. If you want to get in touch with nature while walking the trails in the Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains or just want to relax at Myrtle Beach, don’t get caught with pot.
No Medical Marijuana?
Although doctors and other experts are agreeing that medical marijuana can be beneficial to individuals with debilitating health conditions, South Carolina has not passed a bill to make medical marijuana legal yet. Lawmakers were slated to meet in the Spring of 2015 and many medical marijuana followers are optimistic that “The Palmetto State” will get on board sooner than later. We’ve got our fingers crossed.
Fines & Jail Time
While South Carolina is not one of the most strict states when it comes to punishments, it’s not a state you want to get caught possessing, selling, trafficking, or cultivating.
If you are caught possessing 1 oz or less of marijuana you can face up to 30 days in jail and up to a $200 fine, this seemingly lax sentence is for first time offenders. Subsequent offenses can result in up to a year behind bars and a hefty fine of $1,000.
Sale and Trafficking offenses are as followed: Trying to move less than 10 lbs will get you a felony charge of 5 years and $5,000. First offenders have a little less of a sentence, but regardless if you are trying to sell 10 lbs or 10,000 lbs, you can be prepared to spend some major time behind bars and big fines. For instance, 10-100 lbs could get you a MMS of one year, but up to 10 years and up to $10,000 in fines.
If you are within a half mile of a school, public park, or playground, you can expect a decade of incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines.
Cultivation of less than 100 marijuana plants can result in a five year sentence, but any amount over 100 plants is a MMS of 25 years. Hash and concentrates have the same consequences as regular possession, but may be subject to stricter sentencing depending on the offense (first vs. subsequent).
In South Carolina, individuals ,who are first time offenders, may be eligible for conditional release. This means that someone has the opportunity to be on probation rather than face a trial. If the probation is completed with success, the criminal record may not reflect the marijuana charge.
MMS Law in South Carolina
When someone is convicted of a punishable offense by the Mandatory Minimum Sentence (MMS), the judge has no choice but to sentence the defendant (yes, even the friendly and peaceful pot smokers) to the MMS. Individuals who serve a MMS are not eligible for parole. In South Carolina, many of the MMS sentences are 25 years, that’s enough to make you think twice before taking the risk of cultivating, selling, or trafficking.
Although South Carolina has a plethora of natural beauty to celebrate, they aren’t appreciating the beauty and benefits of marijuana quite yet. While you should definitely not get caught with pot of any amount, you might get less of a fine if it’s your first time (if you really think it’s worth the risk).