The Fourth Circuit vacated a defendant’s sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after the district court improperly enhanced the defendant’s sentence under the ACCA. The district court did so based on finding that Hope’s prior South Carolina convictions for felony marijuana offenses were for a “controlled substance offense.” The Fourth Circuit reversed, holding that the South Carolina marijuana offenses did not meet the federal definition of “controlled substance offenses” because South Carolina’s definition of marijuana included hemp at the time, and hemp is not a “controlled substance offense” under federal law.
Judge Thacker dissented based on his view that the error did not amount to “plain error.”
Appeal from the District of South Carolina
Opinion by Gregory, joined by Wynn
Dissent by Thacker
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