Is Weed Legal in New Jersey?

Many people ask, is weed legal in New Jersey? Having an estimated 800,000 visits yearly, it sure is one of the most locally-visited states in the country. That being said, people are constantly wondering whether weed is legal in The Garden State or not.

So, that’s what we prepared for you in this article! Not only will you learn the ins and outs of New Jersey’s marijuana laws, but we will also drive you deep into the claws of its legalities!

The History of Cannabis in New Jersey

The History of Cannabis in New Jersey

New Jersey’s marijuana history is a rollercoaster ride – it has been through tons of ups and downs, and the thrill of it is with how it came to be.

Cannabis Criminalization

Since the beginning, the people of New Jersey saw marijuana as a foe rather than an ally. In fact, in 2013, the New Jersey Police Department made a total of 24,765 arrests for the case of marijuana possession – take note, these are just in small amounts.

This is a record in 2 decades.

Then, in 2017, they ceased 34,500 people on major and minor cannabis offenses, the most in all states in the entire country.

These are all unlawful acts and violations, though, because in January of 2010, Governor Jon Corzine signed into law the legalization of medical marijuana. We’ll talk more and deeper about that in the latter part of this article.

Cannabis Decriminalization

Good news was upon the people of New Jersey on February 22nd, 2021, when Governor Phil Murphy signed three (3) bills, all of which changed the course of cannabis legalities in the state, involving a two-tier framework, which is…

Regulated Cannabis where the substance is sold, bought, distributed, and used in specific conditions. This is considered fully legal in New Jersey, however, the substance wouldn’t be available until a Cannabis Regulatory Commission issues certain rules about its use, and;

Marijuana and Hashish where all forms of the substances that are not considered medical or regulated cannabis.

This is what the framework for marijuana or cannabis legalization looks like in the state of New Jersey.

Is Weed Legal in New Jersey?

The question that most, if not all people from the Garden State are looking to answer – is marijuana legal? Let’s take a closer look at this and find the answer once and for all!

To answer the question, yes, marijuana is and has been legal in the state of New Jersey – we’re talking both medical and recreational cannabis.

Like other states, there have been a few mishaps and misunderstandings about certain rules and regulations, pushing the effectiveness of this back. February 22, 2022, the police continued their routine of arresting residents who possess marijuana, unless they had a medical marijuana card. But, on the 21st of April 2022, the licensed sale of recreational marijuana was finally welcomed.

Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis

January 11th 2010 was the time when then-Governor Jon Corzine passed the legislature about medical marijuana being allowed in the state. Come the next day, Governor Chris Christie stalled the program by imposing certain limitations and restrictions on it. In fact, at that time, New Jersey was known to be one of the nations with the toughest medical marijuana regulations.

In 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed SB 2842 into law, in which the purchase and sale of edibles, oils, and dried cannabis for both adult and minor patients (for medical purposes) are allowed.

Recreational Cannabis

Recreational Cannabis

The approval of recreational cannabis has just been thrown out recently, in fact, just last year. It was when Governor Phil Murphy signed and amended certain rules and regulations about the recreational use of cannabis.

This was when the use of recreational cannabis has been decriminalized with certain restrictions and limitations in place.

Cannabis Penalties For New Jersey

Since recreational cannabis was scraped off the criminal list, a lot of people have been wondering and asking about the current rules in place for New Jersey. So, in a nutshell, here they are:

  • Adults can possess up to six (6) ounces of marijuana or 17 grams of hashish
  • Being under the influence of either the two is allowed
  • Public smoking of marijuana remains illicit – you’re only given the opportunity to smoke on your own property or “in the privacy of your own home”

If you are under 21 and you’re caught with marijuana in public, you’ll receive a written warning for the first offense. Then, for the 2nd offense, you’ll get another written warning with information about community-based supports and services – add the fact that your parents will be notified, too.

Third offense and succeeding ones will grant you a referral to community-based support.

How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey?

How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in New Jersey

In getting you New Jersey-granted marijuana card, you must first become a registered patient. Like in any other state, the steps are the same – and to help you, we’ve outlined them!

  • You must be a New Jersey resident.
  • Then, you must first have a bona fide relationship with a registered practitioner of the program.
  • After that, you have to be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by the said practitioner. The allowed and approved conditions include:
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    • Anxiety
    • Cancer
    • Chronic pain
    • Dysmenorrhea
    • Glaucoma
    • Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease
    • Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
    • Migraine
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Opioid Use Disorder
    • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • Seizure disorder, including epilepsy
    • Tourette Syndrome

NOTE: If you have a terminal illness with prognosis of less than 12 months to live, that’s considered qualified, too.

That’s it for New Jersey! Having this information will definitely give you an edge whenever you visit the state or if you are planning on a move!

FAQ
We’ve garnered a few of the most frequently asked questions about it, so, don’t worry – we got you!

How Much Weed is Legal in NJ?

Per transaction, dispensaries in the state are allowed to sell and distribute up to 28.35 grams or 1 ounce of usable cannabis.

Do I Need a Medical Card to Buy at a Dispensary in New Jersey?

No, you don’t. Ever since the approval of recreational cannabis, 21-year-olds who have an NJ ID can legally purchase cannabis from an approved and qualified dispensary.

Do NJ Dispensaries Take Card?

Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and, therefore, banks might not appropriately process credit card transactions. Be sure to have cash when you plan on purchasing!

The Bottom Line

So, is weed legal in New Jersey? Well, it certainly is! A lot of people undermine the state for being conventional, when, just recently, it proved to the world that it has its own flavors, too!

Just be wary, though, because if you aren’t from the Garden State and you think just because it’s decriminalized, it’s applicable to use everywhere, it’s not! NJ isn’t like other states where you can publicly display your affection towards the plant!

Be aware and be powerful with your actions – it might just be what would save you from apprehension and unwanted repercussions!

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