Drug Crimes

North Carolina

Drug Crimes in North Carolina

What is a “Drug” in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the term “drug” typically refers to any substance recognized as a controlled substance under the state’s controlled substances laws. These laws classify various drugs into schedules based on factors such as their potential for abuse, medical use, and overall safety. The schedules range from Schedule I (high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use) to Schedule VI (lowest potential for abuse).

Common examples of substances considered drugs in North Carolina include prescription medications, illegal narcotics, marijuana (though its legal status is evolving), and other controlled substances. It’s important to note that the classification and legality of substances may change, so it’s advisable to consult the most recent North Carolina statutes or legal resources for the latest information. Additionally, possessing or distributing certain substances may lead to criminal charges, so it’s crucial to be aware of and comply with the state’s drug laws.

Drugs fall into 6 categories in North Carolina:

Schedule I 

Typically highly addictive, mind altering substances such as heroin, morphine, mescaline (“peyote”), Psilocybin (“shrooms”),  MMDA and MDMA (“Molly or Ecstasy”). 

Schedule II

Mostly consists of pain medications and include Opium, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine

 Schedule III

Mostly consists of substances that have a depressive effect on the centeral nervous system or sedatives such as Barbituates, Ketamine, Codeine, and also Testosterone

Schedule IV

This is a mix of stimulants and depressants such as Depressants (such as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin) or Stimulants (such as Cathine aka “Khat”or Phentermine)

Schedule V

Consists of high quantities of over the counter medicines sold at retail stores without a perscription as well as smaller quantities of codine

Schedule VI

This is mostly made up of Marijuana, Hashish and Synthetic Cannabinoids

– Common ways to get a drug charge

Aside from carrying illegal drugs, putting your perscription medication in an unmarked container that does not state your name and medicatoin information from the phamracy can result in a drug charge despite the medication being perscribed to you. 

Types of Drug Offenses

Simple Drug Possession

This implies you are posessing the drug with the intent of using it. 

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

This is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Also, fun facts: in North Carolina, a person faces more jail time for a baggie than the actual possession of marijuana. Common drug paraphernalia include:

  • Bowls & Bongs
  • Rolling papers
  • Scales
  • Steel Wool
  • Baggie
  • Pill bottles
  • Syringes
  • Needles
  • Roach Clips


Possession with Intent to Sell, Manufacture or Deliver

In North Carolina, the production or sale of marijuana is illegal. Marijuana does not even have to be sold for these penalties to apply. All that is needed it the conspiracy and or the intent to sell. 


  • Up 10 lbs. = Up to $5,000 fine and/or up to 1 year prison time.
  • 10 to 50 lbs.. Up to $500 fine and/or 25-30 months prison time.
  • 50 to 2,000 lbs. Up to $25,000 fine and/or 35-42 months prison time.
  • 2,000 to 10,000 lbs. Up to $50,000 fine and/or 70-84 months prison time.
  • 10,000 or more lbs. Up to $200,000 fine and/or 179-219 months prison time.

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