Each state has its own laws and penalties regarding the possession of marijuana. In North Carolina, possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized, but it is not fully legalized.
The penalties you can face for possession depend on how much you are caught with. It is still considered a felony to have more than one-and-a-half ounces on your person at any given time.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws states that in many cases, a person getting caught with marijuana for the first time will only be ticketed with the equivalent of a minor traffic offense. Do be aware that this is at the discretion of the courts. Even if you are caught with just less than a half an ounce of marijuana, the penalty can potentially be a misdemeanor charge with a fine of up to $200.
It is still possible to face jail time for possession of more than half an ounce of marijuana. If caught with anywhere between 0.5 and 1.5 ounces, you can be charged with a misdemeanor, fined up to $1,000 and jailed for up to 45 days.
The felony charge of possession of more than 1.5 ounces may result in a lengthy period of incarceration. At a maximum, you could be imprisoned for up to eight months. Even in a typical case, you could still be looking at a minimum of three months of prison time and a fine of up to $1,000.