Marijuana and North Carolina Drug Courts

North Carolina drug treatment courts were established by statute in 1995. North Carolina jurisdictions that have drug courts receive direction and assistance from the Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee. Drug courts are a relatively new part of the U.S. judicial system, with North Carolina's drug treatment courts being among the first in the nation. These courts have been shown to reduce the rate of recidivism and the overall cost to taxpayers in comparison to conventional courts.

The specific operations of each North Carolina drug treatment court vary by jurisdiction. Unlike many states, North Carolina courts can require individuals to participate in drug court whether they want to or not. Furthermore, completion of a drug court program will not typically result in reduced or dismissed charges. If you would like to learn more about North Carolina drug courts or locate the nearest one, consult the Drug Treatment Court section of the North Carolina court system website. In the case of a marijuana offense, North Carolina drug courts will have participants complete a marijuana treatment program in order to treat their dependence. Marijuana rehabilitation centers and programs are typically not run by the state but must adhere to state guidelines in order to have North Carolina drug court participants enroll. Drug treatment court programs in North Carolina typically go from 1 to 2 years.

The benefits to participating in North Carolina drug court and successfully completing a program include:

  • Lower risk of recidivism as more participants remain drug free; and
  • Probation instead of incarceration.

The presence of any of the following factors may disqualify marijuana offenders from being able to participate in North Carolina drug court:

  • Charges or convictions for violent crimes or the threat of violent crime;
  • Having a history of drug sales offenses or being charged with a drug sales offense;
  • Classification as a habitual offender;
  • Not being drug-dependent; or
  • Being ineligible for community or intermediate punishment according to the state's structured sentencing system.

Follow this link for more information on North Carolina Marijuana and Medical Marijuana Laws.