While weed is legal in some form in twenty-six states, it is not yet here in North Carolina. So the weed news outlet Cannabist has created a map that breaks down marijuana laws in each state. In addition, more and more States are reducing marijuana penalties and even allow for its use at some level. Hence is it OK to be driving stoned in NC? No but it is more difficult to prove in court.
First, is Weed Legal in NC?
Currently, North Carolina has not legalized weed in any form. While bills are regularly introduced, none have gotten close to passing so far. However, we continue to hope for some reasonable legislator to break from the pack. Nevertheless, you cannot consume, sell, or grow weed here even if it is for personal use or medicinal purposes.
So is Driving Stoned Illegal?
Absolutely, driving stoned is illegal in North Carolina. However, there is no standard like the 0.08 “legal limit” for alcohol. In addition, unlike other illegal drugs, simply having it in your system is not enough. As a result, marijuana DWI cases are easier to defend unless you are truly impaired. While legalized states use saliva and breath tests to show recent use, no such test exists in North Carolina. And if weed is found in a blood or urine test, that fact does not show active impairment. Rather, it only means you smoked at some time within a few days.
Because there is no 0.08 standard, the State must show “appreciable impairment” to convict you. So how do they do that? While being investigated, the officer uses roadside field sobriety tests. While the police rely on them, we mock how walking a line or standing on one foot is helpful. Rather, the best way to determine impairment is how someone is actually driving on the road. Hence, if you drive well, you are most probably not stoned, and therefore, not guilty. And that’s why my dog Roo in the picture is not guilty. In addition, she is too cute to go to jail.