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Understanding NJ recreational cannabis laws

| Mar 17, 2021 | Drug Charges |

New Jersey’s most recent marijuana legislation has been signed by Governor Phil Murphy. However, some parts of these new laws will take time to be solidified with some aspects of the law are effective immediately. Among the immediate changes in the way marijuana possession will be handled by police includes whether drug charges will be assigned to minors who have marijuana, hashish, or alcohol in their possession.

What does marijuana possession mean for New Jersey residents?

Marijuana is now legal in New Jersey under the state’s new laws. This means it is now illegal to sell marijuana for recreational use; physical marketplaces are pending. Once these sales begin, adults over the age of 21 can purchase up to one ounce of marijuana at a time. New Jersey has permitted medical marijuana use for patients who are enrolled in the state’s system, since 2010.

An individual is permitted to have up to six ounces of weed or 17 grams of hashish in their possession without the threat of facing drug charges. Hashish is a more potent form of marijuana and has high THC levels.

Being pulled over for cannabis possession

New Jersey residents can no longer be pulled over or searched, whether walking or in a vehicle, simply because a law enforcement officer smells marijuana on them. This is no longer considered a reasonable suspicion for stopping an individual and searching them.

Minors and weed possession

Individuals under the age of 21 who are caught with any amount of cannabis in a public place (including school), will receive a written warning for their initial offense. The citation will include the individual’s name, address, and birthdate, but will not be sent to the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Be sure to speak with a New Jersey attorney who is experienced in this area of the law and familiar with the new cannabis laws in the state so you and your family can operate with the local regulations and avoid fines or other legal ramifications.