Many residents and lawmakers have been fighting for the legalization of recreational marijuana in New Jersey for years. This most recent election was finally successful in legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. While it will likely take some time for it to become law, this is a big move for the state of New Jersey.
What Is The Marijuana Legalization Bill?
This bill will allow New Jersey residents to recreationally use marijuana, up to six ounces at once. It will also be legal to distribute up to one ounce of marijuana. The legislation was first introduced in June, where it was successfully listed on the most recent New Jersey election ballot. New Jersey residents voted in favor of the legalization. At six ounces, this will make the state of New Jersey one of the highest limits in the country.
Read more: Felony Drug Possession in New Jersey
Decriminalization of Marijuana Laws
While there will still be age limits and maximums of possession and use, the decriminalization of marijuana will reduce the potential legal consequences. This includes:
- People in possession of more than the legal limit of marijuana will first receive a written warning
- People in possession of more than the legal limit of marijuana will then receive a $25 fine for consequent offenses
This does not include distribution charges. People will still face certain legal consequences, although likely minimal, for the illegal distribution of recreational marijuana. The maximum charges of up to one ounce would be fourth-degree offenses, the lowest legal consequences for a drug charge in New Jersey.
It is also important to note that this does not apply to minors. The legal limit age for recreational use will be 21 years of age. People who are arrested for use, or possession, of marijuana under this age, will likely still be charged.
Read more: Reasons to Expunge a Criminal Record
How Will This Help the State of New Jersey?
The reason that many New Jersey lawmakers have been pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana, is that they estimate it to help residents. They believe that it will help New Jersey residents in the following ways:
- Fewer arrests: Marijuana charges can lead to arrests and jail time. These minimal drug charges can put a lot of pressure on the system.
- Tax revenue: The taxes from marijuana will go back into the cities and state.
- Increase in jobs: The opening of marijuana shops will also create additional jobs in the state.
- Assist communities: There have been disproportionate drug arrests for marijuana. By legalizing marijuana, the state can arrest fewer people for minimal drug crimes.
What Does This Mean Now?
What happens if you are arrested for use or possession of marijuana right now? The bill is not a law yet, which means that you can still be arrested and charged with criminal charges. While police were instructed to use their discretion, knowing that recreational marijuana will soon be decriminalized, it is up to the department to determine how to handle current arrests.
If you are already dealing with potential drug charges, even marijuana, it is important to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Read more: What Can a Defense Attorney Do For You?
Contact an Experienced Maple Shade Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Drug Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with drug charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with drug charges in Mount Laurel, Willingboro, Burlington Township, Maple Shade, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-333-3586 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
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