North Carolina County With the Highest Rate of Marijuana Consumption!


Marijuana, commonly known as weed, cannabis, pot, or grass, is a psychoactive drug extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant. It includes more than 100 chemical components known as cannabinoids, the most well-known of which are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol. THC is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects, but CBD offers anti-inflammatory, seizure, and neuroprotective benefits.

Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illegal narcotics in the United States, with over 12% of American people reporting having smoked it in 2021. However, marijuana’s legal status differs per state, ranging from complete prohibition to complete legalization. In this post, we will look at North Carolina, where recreational marijuana usage is outlawed and medicinal exceptions are restricted.

Read more: This City in Nevada Has the Highest Marijuana Consumption Rate in the U.S

Marijuana Laws in North Carolina

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI drug in North Carolina, indicating that it has no established medicinal value and minimal potential for abuse. Possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of $200. However, first-time offenders may be eligible for a conditional discharge, which means that their charges may be dropped provided they complete a drug education program and remain out of trouble for a year.

The sale or delivery of marijuana is a crime, with penalties varying based on the amount and location of the violation. For example, selling less than 10 pounds of marijuana is penalized by up to 39 months in jail and a $5,000 fine, but selling more than 10,000 pounds is punishable by up to 219 months in prison and a $200,000 fine. Selling or distributing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or playground carries a maximum sentence of 44 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Marijuana cultivation is likewise a crime, with punishments varying according to the amount of plants. For example, growing fewer than 10 plants is penalized by up to 25 months in jail and a $5,000 punishment, but growing more than 10,000 plants is punishable by up to 219 months in prison and a $200,000 fine.

Medical Marijuana in North Carolina

North Carolina lacks a complete medical marijuana program, although it does permit the use of low-THC/high-CBD cannabis oil for patients with persistent epilepsy. This law, also known as the Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act or the Hope 4 Haley and Friends Act, was approved in 2014 and revised in 2015.

It allows patients who have received written certification from a neurologist affiliated with one of the four state universities (Wake Forest University, Duke University, East Carolina University, or the University of North Carolina) to possess and use cannabis oil containing at least 5% CBD and less than 0.9% THC. However, the law does not provide a legal way for patients to access cannabis oil, nor does it insulate them from federal prosecution.

Marijuana Use in North Carolina

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.8% of North Carolina residents aged 12 and up reported smoking marijuana in the previous year, while the national average was 15.9%. North Carolina is ranked 40th in terms of marijuana use prevalence.

Also read: Discover the City With the Highest Weed Consumption in Virginia

Among the various age categories, young people aged 18 to 25 had the greatest rate of marijuana usage, with 22.9% reporting past-year use, followed by adolescents aged 12 to 17, with 10.1%. Adults aged 26 and older had the lowest rate of marijuana usage, with 7.6% reporting use in the previous year.

Buncombe County had the highest rate of marijuana usage among North Carolina counties, with 14.9% of people reporting past-year use, followed by Durham County with 14.4%. Mitchell County had the lowest rate of marijuana usage, with 3.8% of respondents reporting use during the last year.


Marijuana remains prohibited for recreational use in North Carolina, where it is classed as a Schedule VI substance with stringent penalties for possession, sale, and growing. Limited medical exclusions enable epileptic sufferers to use low-THC/high-CBD cannabis oil, but availability and federal prosecution remain difficult.

Marijuana use in the state is lower than the national average, with young persons using it the most. Regional variances show that Buncombe and Durham counties have greater utilization rates, while Mitchell County has the lowest.

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