With Gov. Chris Christie out and Gov. Phil Murphy in, marijuana users in New Jersey are looking forward to the legalization of the drug. Christie had a strong stance against the legalization of marijuana while Murphy is all in when it comes to legalizing it.
Drug Laws in New Jersey
For those who do not know, marijuana is the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds from the plant called cannabis sativa. It is used medicinally as well as recreationally, with a growing number of states legalizing the latter.
But despite Murphy’s desire to legalize the recreational use of the drug, a New Jersey bipartisan group of lawmakers are aiming to decriminalize it instead. Decriminalization means lessening the criminal penalties associated with the drug, as opposed to making its use flat out legal.
The lawmakers recently announced their desire for decriminalization over legalization, while also leaving room for putting a referendum before voters. One senator has introduced legislation that would decriminalize possession of 10 grams of marijuana or less.
If caught in possession of 10 grams or less, you would be charged with a civil penalty that carries a $100 fine for the first offense. A subsequent offense would be $200 and any more than two would incur a fine of $500.
The proposed legislation also defines penalties if you are found in possession of more than 10 grams and less than 50 grams. This would mean a fine of $500 and up to six months in prison under a disorderly persons offense. If more than 50 grams, the penalty jumps to a $10,000 fine and a jail sentence of up to 18 months.
It is hard to say whether or not decriminalization or legalization is the best route, as some states across the country opted for the former while others chose the latter. But for now, New Jersey’s marijuana laws remain as they always have been.
To be convicted of possession of marijuana can lead to fines, jail time and suspension of your driver’s license. The charge remains on your criminal record, which can later lead to other troubles in your life, like finding a job, being able to rent an apparent or even be approved for a mortgage.
Schedule a Consultation With a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
That is why if you or a loved one are facing marijuana possession charges in New Jersey your first move should be to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney like those at James M. Porfido Attorney At Law, LLC.
They will investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and make sure your rights were not violated in any way. Whether you are a juvenile or an adult, they will be by your side and fight your possession charges and any other related offenses. For a free initial consultation, call 973-683-1140 today.
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.