The legalization of marijuana in New Jersey has raised a lot of questions and concerns. Many New Jerseyans are unsure of how this will affect them, and what exactly they can and cannot do now when it comes to marijuana. Can you get fired from your job or face a drug test? Where is it okay to smoke marijuana? Here is everything you need to know about New Jersey’s new law.
2021 New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Overview
As of February 2021, adults 21 and over are allowed to consume marijuana on private properties. Bars and restaurants are able to set their own rules. It is still illegal to consume marijuana on public properties, such as the beach or in parks, which is the same law when it comes to alcohol.
People under the age of 21 are prohibited from consuming marijuana. If caught with it, they will be issued a series of written warnings instead of fines and arrests. It is illegal to grow marijuana at home, but since it’s been decriminalized in New Jersey, you can possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana without penalty.
Some marijuana cases will remain criminal, like growing marijuana at home without a license and distributing large amounts of marijuana. New Jersey is one of the only states that does not allow recreational home growing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana Legalization
What is Still Illegal?
You cannot possess more than 6 ounces of marijuana in NJ. If you do, it’s considered a 4th-degree felony, which could lead up to an 18th-month sentence. Also, distributing large amounts of marijuana is still criminal under New Jersey law. Distributing 25 pounds or more of marijuana is a first-degree crime. Distributing 5 pounds of marijuana is considered a second-degree crime.
Selling small amounts of marijuana, which is an ounce or less, will result in written warnings for the first offense. The second offense will result in a court summons on the charge of a fourth-degree felony.
Can I Buy Legal Marijuana in NJ?
Unless you are a registered New Jersey medical marijuana patient, you cannot currently buy marijuana legally in New Jersey. While the state has 13 medical marijuana dispensaries, there is still work that needs to be done before any recreational dispensaries are licensed and operational. It is not yet known where these locations will be, as that will be determined by NJ’s new cannabis regulatory board.
Can My Job Drug Test or Fire Me?
New Jersey employers cannot fire employees if they choose to consume marijuana on their own time, but employers can still discipline employees for being high on the job. Random drug testing and pre-employment screenings will still be allowed
What if I Have a Pending Case?
In cases involving one-time crimes, prosecutors have to seek dismissals of any pending charges, under the attorney general’s guidance.
Is it Legal to Grow Marijuana at Home?
No, it is not legal to grow marijuana at your home. The bill that was just signed does not allow New Jersey residents to grow marijuana at home.
What Are The Penalties for Smoking Marijuana While Driving?
Similar to alcohol, you can still be charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana. The law also bans smoking marijuana in public places, like parks, bars, and beaches.
The Future of Marijuana Legalization in NJ
With all of the information being discussed surrounding the new legalization of marijuana, it’s important to be aware of what is and is not allowed. Just because marijuana is now legal, there are still a lot of guidelines that need to be followed. The coming months will be critical in deciding when New Jersey residents will be able to legally buy marijuana, and what will happen to people with past and current marijuana charges. For more information, feel free to contact our attorneys today.