New Jersey Cannabis Legal Guide
In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first two U.S. jurisdictions to legalize the recreational use of marijuana (cannabis) at the state level. Over the last decade, many other states have followed, including New Jersey. On Nov. 3, 2020, New Jersey voters strongly supported Public Question 1 — an amendment to the state’s constitution that permits the recreational use of cannabis.
There is still plenty of confusion and many myths and misconceptions about New Jersey’s cannabis laws. It is crucial that all residents of New Jersey understand their rights and responsibilities under the new law.
In this blog post, our New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer with the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, offers a brief legal guide to the marijuana laws in New Jersey in 2022.
An Overview of Recreational Marijuana/Cannabis Laws in New Jersey
The amendment to the New Jersey constitution approved by state voters and the related regulation bills signed by Gov. Phil Murphy have created a regime for the lawful possession of cannabis.
The most important things that you need to know about legal cannabis in New Jersey include:
- Adult (21+) Recreational Use Permitted: New Jersey allows adults 21 years old and older to possess and consume recreational marijuana. Similar to alcohol, minors, and adults 18-20 cannot lawfully possess or consume marijuana in the state.
- Possession is Strictly Limited to Six Ounces: Individuals can lawfully possess up to six ounces of marijuana in New Jersey. Possession in excess of six ounces is still a state-level criminal offense — carrying a maximum penalty of more than one year in jail.
- Distribution Remains Unlawful (Without a License): Cannabis must be obtained from a state-approved dispensary. It is still unlawful for individuals to distribute marijuana. The first-time distribution of less than an ounce of marijuana is no longer a crime in New Jersey. However, subsequent distribution offense and distribution of larger amounts (more than one ounce) is a chargeable offense that carries jail time.
- Drugged Driving is a Crime: You cannot operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey.
If you or your loved one was arrested for a marijuana DUI offense, contact an experienced New Jersey defense lawyer for immediate assistance.
Caveat: Marijuana Possession is Still Barred By Federal Law
It is important to emphasize that recreational marijuana possession and consumption is still barred at the federal level. While the federal government has largely taken a “hands-off” approach to state-based marijuana legalization, you could be charged with a federal crime if you possess marijuana on federal property and/or cross state lines while possessing cannabis from New Jersey.
Contact Our New Jersey Marijuana Defense Lawyer for Help
At the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC, our New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, Matthew V. Portella, is a knowledgeable, skilled, and solutions-centered advocate for clients. If you or your loved one was arrested and charged for any drug-related offense, including a marijuana charge, we can help.
Call today or connect with us online to set up your confidential case review. With offices in Haddonfield and Pleasantville, criminal defense attorney Matthew V. Portella helps individuals throughout the courts in New Jersey.