New Jersey residents wanted a big change to come from the U.S. Presidential Election on November 3rd and they got it after 67% voted in favor of legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. As such, the Garden State became the 12th state (excluding the District of Columbia) to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
Learn more about what this new law will mean below.
What Can We Expect From This New Law?
It may still take some time before we see the recreational use of marijuana fully legalized. While other states’ ballots included questions about the regulatory framework of legalization, New Jersey’s did not; this could ultimately mean that residents may still be waiting a long time until these measures are worked out. The Legislature and Cannabis Regulatory Commission is tasked with overseeing the state’s recreational marijuana market; they are currently overseeing medical marijuana, as well.
Despite this, though, there are things we know for certain about the legalization. For starters, anyone purchasing marijuana would be taxed 6.25% and additional 2% by the municipalities where the purchase is made. In comparison, the state of Arizona imposes a tax of 16% on one ounce of marijuana. New Jersey would have the lowest legal marijuana tax in the United States.
Additionally, just like alcohol, users must be 21 years of age or older to purchase, carry and use marijuana.
Can I Still Get Arrested for Marijuana Possession?
The short answer, yes. However, the state’s Attorney General Gurbir Grewel made an announcement last week that ordered all prosecutors to stop all low-level marijuana cases as lawmakers continue to work out the kinks. As of recently, the Senate included a provision in the decriminalization bill that would reduce the criminal penalties for anyone caught with psychedelic mushrooms. The state Assembly, who was not aware of the proposition, has refused to act further on the bill.
According to the bill, anyone carrying up to six ounces of marijuana would receive a written warning for their first offense and a $25 fine for subsequent offenses. This includes distribution of up to one ounce of marijuana. Subsequent offenses would be charged as a fourth degree offense, which in New Jersey, can result in up to 18 months behind bars and a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Individuals facing a fourth degree offense with no priors may be eligible for pretrial intervention.
Contact an Experienced Woodbridge Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Drug Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with marijuana possession 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 Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio have successfully represented clients charged with drug possession in Middlesex County, Mercer County, Union County, Ocean County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 334-7468 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 227 Main Street, Woodbridge, NJ 07095 as well as offices located in Princeton, Freehold, Jersey City, and Mount Laurel.
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.