Is medical use a possible defense to marijuana charges?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2021 | Drug Crimes

The medical benefits of marijuana have started to become common household knowledge. Mainstream media outlets have in recent years highlighted the use of marijuana for conditions ranging from intractable epilepsy to cancer pain. Patients of many different ages and with varying medical conditions may rely on marijuana as a medicine that reduces their symptoms or improves their quality of life. 

If you get caught with it in your possession in South Carolina, could you claim medical use as part of your defense strategy? 

South Carolina does not have a medical marijuana program

When states legalize medical marijuana, they create licensing programs. Only those who have paperwork from a medical professional and whose behavior falls within the state’s rules have protection from prosecution for marijuana possession, use or cultivation. 

A patient who violates the rules for medical marijuana use could still face criminal charges in any state, regardless of their medical condition — but your danger is particularly high in South Carolina. This state doesn’t have a medical marijuana program. That means the law doesn’t recognize the legitimate medical use of the drug at all. In addition, marijuana continues to be illegal under federal law. 

There have been cases of those with strong medical support and extreme conditions fighting back against marijuana charges in other states, but many factors will determine the likely success of this kind of strategy. Looking carefully at the potential consequences for your charges, which depend on the amount of marijuana involved, can help you decide what approach is best in your case. 

Fighting back against pending drug charges often requires careful planning beforehand. Reach out to an experienced defense attorney who will help you better manage this process.