New Jersey marijuana laws have changed drastically in recent years. In 2020, New Jersey residents overwhelmingly voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Since then, the state has been hard at work updating drug laws to reflect this new reality.
It can be difficult to navigate marijuana laws alone, especially as state law continues to develop. Even though marijuana has been legalized, you may still face marijuana-related criminal charges. Below are answers to common questions about marijuana in New Jersey. For more information about your unique case, contact my office today for a free consultation. At The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, I will work with you to overcome your criminal charges. Call 908-643-6801 to get started.
Is marijuana possession legal in New Jersey?
Under state law, it is legal for anyone over the age of 21 to possess less than 6 ounces of marijuana or less than 17 grams of hashish. It is also now legal to possess marijuana paraphernalia.
It is still illegal for anyone under 21 to possess marijuana, and it is still illegal to distribute or sell marijuana without a license.
Can I be charged for driving while high?
While marijuana possession and marijuana use are no longer criminal offenses in New Jersey, you will still be charged for DUI if you are caught driving under the influence of marijuana. New Jersey DUI laws apply to both drunk driving and drugged driving. Even if it is your first offense, you could be facing penalties that include license suspension, fines and jail time. These penalties increase dramatically for repeat offenses.
Can police search my vehicle if they smell marijuana inside?
With the legalization of recreational marijuana, it is legal to possess marijuana in a vehicle as long as you are not under the influence while driving. Because of this, the smell of marijuana no longer provides “probable cause” to search your property. However, circumstantial evidence such as the smell of marijuana may be used against you in a marijuana DUI case. If you were arrested for driving while high, you should reach out to an attorney to ensure you are treated fairly by the police.
What if someone under 21 is caught with marijuana?
Those under 21 who are found possessing marijuana still face consequences, however the penalties have been significantly reduced to focus more on rehabilitation. If you are under 21, the first time you are caught with marijuana, you will receive a written warning. For a second offense, you will receive another warning as well as information about nearby drug rehabilitation services. A third offense will result in another written warning, and for those ages 18-21 a referral to a local community drug rehabilitation center will be provided.
If you are under 18, your parent or guardian will also be notified of your warnings. If you are caught with over 6 ounces of marijuana or 17 grams of hashish, you could be facing criminal felonies regardless of age.
Can I grow my own marijuana in my home?
No, you are not allowed to grow your own marijuana in New Jersey. While the law is still developing, personal cultivation of marijuana, whether medicinal or recreational, is still illegal. In order to legally obtain marijuana, you must purchase it from a licensed dispensary. The number of licensed providers is expected to rise over time as more businesses apply.