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Pending Marijuana Legislation

In June of 2018, State Senators Stephen Sweeney and Nicholas Scutari proposed legislation to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in the State of New Jersey, subject to specific conditions. This bill has been debated in the Senate and revamped in favor of a new bill, which basically made amendments to the Sweeney/Scutari bill. Below are some of the highlights of the proposed legislation.

Personal Use

As in every other state where marijuana use has been legalized, personal use is legal only for those who are 21 years of age and older. Possessing, using, purchasing, or transporting marijuana paraphernalia, one ounce or less of marijuana, 16 ounces or less of marijuana infused product in solid form, 72 ounces or less in liquid form, 7 grams or less of marijuana concentrate, and up to 6 immature marijuana plants would all be the legal limitations for personal use. Furthermore, a person can give to another person of legal age these items, so long as it is not for promotional or business purposes. However, consumption of these marijuana items is prohibited in public. Moreover, marijuana cannot be grown by an unlicensed person.

Read More: Law Enforcement Reactions To Marijuana Legalization

Persons Under 21 years of Age

Any legal marijuana business or employee of that business that sells or distributes marijuana items to an underage person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense and subject to a fine of not less than $250 (1st offense), $500 (2nd offense), or $1,000 (3rd offense). Furthermore, a hearing will be held to determine if the license for the business will be revoked. A defense to a charge of violating the statute is available. The elements of this defense include: (1) a fake license or other form of government identification was presented; (2) the purchaser appeared to be of legal age; (3) and, that the sale was made in good faith that the purchaser was of legal age and presented valid identification.

Any person under 21 years of age who possesses marijuana or consumes marijuana in public is guilty of a disorderly persons offense and subject to a fine of not less than $500. Defenses to this charge include: (1) the minor contacted law enforcement or medical personnel in order to obtain medical assistance for another person who was in need of medical assistance because that person consumed a marijuana item and the evidence of the violation of this section was obtained as a result of the person’s having contacted emergency medical services or a law enforcement agency; or (2) the person was in need of medical assistance because the person consumed a marijuana item and the evidence of the violation of this section was obtained as a result of the person’s having sought or obtained the medical assistance.

Public Places for Marijuana Consumption

Marijuana retailers would be able to apply for a permit allowing consumption on the premises in an area of the business that is separated from the retail area of the dispensary. The retailer would have to get permission from the State and the local government. This would be the only exception to the prohibition of public marijuana consumption.

Delivery of Marijuana

Businesses with a license would be able to deliver marijuana items to customers. Contact a Cherry Hill, NJ DWI Defense Attorney today for free consultation.