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New Jersey Marijuana Laws

Penalty Details

See

  • 24:21-1, et seq. of the New Jersey Criminal Code

Possession

Possession of 50 grams or less is a “Disorderly Person” offense punishable by a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Possession of more than 50 grams is a crime in the 4th degree punishable by a maximum sentence of 18 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Possession within 1,000 feet of a school adds a sentence of 100 hours of community service to the sentence, as well a variable (depending on quantity) additional fine.

See

  • Section 2C:21-7.4 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated
  • Section 2C:35-10 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated

Distribution or Possession with the Intent to Distribute

Sale or distribution of less than 1 ounce is a crime in the 4th degree punishable by a maximum sentence of 18 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Sale or distribution of 1 ounce- less than 5 pounds is a crime in the 3rd degree punishable by a sentence of 3-5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Sale or distribution of 5 pounds – less than 25 pounds is a crime in the 2nd degree punishable by a sentence of 5-10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $150,000.

Sale or distribution of 25 pounds or more is a crime in the 1st degree punishable by a sentence of 10-20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $300,000.*

* A mandatory minimum sentence (with limited exceptions) shall be imposed.

Sale within 1,000 feet of school property or a school bus is a crime in the 3rd degree punishable by a sentence of 3-5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $150,000.

If the violation involves less than 1 ounce, a mandatory minimum sentence of either 1/2 or 1/3 of the sentence shall be imposed.

Sale or distribution of less than 1 ounce within 500 feet of certain public property is a crime in the 3rd degree punishable by 3-5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Sale or distribution of more than 1 ounce within 500 feet of certain public property is a felony punishable by 5-10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $150,000.

Sale to minors or pregnant women is a felony which carries with a doubling of the term of imprisonment and the fine.

See

  • Section 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:35-7 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-3 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-6 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 

Cultivation

Cultivation of 1 ounce – less than 5 pounds (less than 10 plants) is a crime in the 3rd degree punishable by a sentence of 3-5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Cultivation of 5 pounds – less than 25 pounds (10 – less than 50 plants) is a crime in the 2nd degree punishable by a sentence of 5-10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $150,000.

Cultivation of 25 pounds or more (50 or more plants) is a crime in the 1st degree punishable by a sentence of 10-20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $300,000.*

* A mandatory minimum sentence shall be imposed.

See

  • Section 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated
  • Section 2C:43-6 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 

Hash & Concentrates

New Jersey defines hashish as “the resin extracted from any part of the plant Genus Cannabis L. and any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such resin.” Hashish is a Schedule I controlled substance.

See

  • Section 24:21-2 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 24:21-5(e) of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated

Possessing less than 5 grams of hashish is a disorderly person offense punishable by a fine no greater than $1,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 6 months. Possessing 5 grams or more of hashish is a crime in the 4th degree punishable by a fine no greater than $25,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 18 months.

See

  • Section 2C:35-10 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-3 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-6 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-8 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 

Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense less than 5 grams of hashish is a crime in the 4th degree punishable by a fine no greater than $25,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 18 months. If the amount of hashish is 5 grams or more but less than 1 pound, the offense is a crime in the 3rd degree punishable by a fine no greater than $25,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no less than 3 years and no greater than 5 years. If the amount of hashish involved was 1 pound or greater but less than 5 pounds, the offense is a crime in the second degree punishable by a fine no greater than $150,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no less than 5 years and no greater than 10 years. If the amount of hashish involved was 5 pounds or greater, the offense is a crime in the first degree punishable by a fine no greater than $200,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no less than 10 years and no greater than 20 years.

See

  • Section 2C:35-5 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-3 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-6 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 

Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense hashish within 1,000 feet of a school or school bus stop is a crime in the 3rd degree punishable by a fine no greater than $150,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no less than a mandatory 3 years and no greater than 5 years.

See

  • Section 2C:35-7 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-3 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-6 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 

Paraphernalia

Possession or use of paraphernalia is a “Disorderly Persons Offense” punishable by a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Sale of paraphernalia is a crime in the 4th degree punishable by a maximum sentence 18 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Sale of paraphernalia to minors is a crime in the 3rd degree punishable by a sentence of 3-5 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of $25,000.

Advertising the sale of any such device or equipment is a crime in the 4th degree punishable by a fine no greater than $10,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 18 months.

See

  • Section 2C:36-2 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:36-4 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:36-5 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated
  • Section 2C:43-3 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated
  • Section 2C:43-6 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
  • Section 2C:43-8 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated

Miscellaneous

In NJ, failure to turn over marijuana or hashish to a nearby police officer is a misdemeanor. In addition, being under the influence of marijuana or hashish (whether you are driving a car or not), is also a misdemeanor. These offenses can be punished by:

 

  • Up to six months imprisonment (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-8)
  • A fine of up to $1000 (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3(c))
  • Loss of Public Housing (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1)
  • Potential Eviction from leased residential premises (N.J.S.A. 2A:18-61.1)
  • Loss of driving privileges for not less than six months and up to two years. (2C:35-16)
  • Mandatory loss of driving privileges for two years if the marijuana is in a motor vehicle. (N.J.S.A. 39:4-49.1)
  • A term of community service (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2b(5))
  • A mandatory $75 Safe Neighborhoods Services assessment (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3.2)
  • A mandatory $50 lab fee (2C:35-20)
  • A mandatory $50 Victims of Crime Compensation Board penalty (2C:43-3.1a(2)(a))
  • A mandatory $500 Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction penalty (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-15(e))
  • A period of probation of up to five years (N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2b(2); State v. Dove, 202 N.J.Super. 540, (Law Div. Jan 29, 1985)

See

  • Section 2C:35-10(c) of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated
  • Section 2C:35-10(b) of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated
Driver’s license suspension

Shall suspend, revoke or postpone the driving privileges for a period not less than six months or more than two years of every person convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for not less than 6 months and no more than two years. If less than 17 years old, the suspension shall not run less than six months or more than two years after they turn 17.

See

  • 17. 39:5-30.13 of the New Jersey Statutes Annotated 
CONDITIONAL RELEASE

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.

DRUGGED DRIVING

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold.

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective. 

New Jersey Drugged Driving

In New Jersey, a person is guilty of a DUI is he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, OR if he or she permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 39:4-50 (West 2010).

Implied Consent

In New Jersey, a person suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol has, by virtue of driving in the state, consented to provide a sample of breath, blood, or urine to police for testing in order to determine the amount of alcohol in his or her system. However, implied consent law does not require that an individual suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana or controlled substance submit to a chemical test in order to screen for the presence of drugs in his or her body. Ergo, in New Jersey chemical sample from an accused person should only be given on a voluntarily basis, and no penalties or sanctions apply for refusal to submit to chemical testing for drugs.

Penalties

  • First offense – fine of not less than $ 300 nor more than $ 500; a period of detainment of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day; a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days; offender forfeits his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than seven months nor more than one year. Id. § 39:4-50(1)(ii).
  • Second offense – fine of not less than $ 500.00 nor more than $ 1,000.00; offender shall ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 30 days; offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 48 consecutive hours, which shall not be suspended or served on probation, nor more than 90 days; offender forfeits his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of two years upon conviction. Id. § 39:4-50(2).
  • Third or subsequent offense – fine of $ 1,000.00; imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days in a county jail or workhouse, except that the court may lower such term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served participating in a drug or alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center; offender thereafter forfeits his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for 10 years; offender required to install an ignition interlock device. Id. § 39:4-50(3).

NOTE: A conviction of a violation of a law of a substantially similar nature in another jurisdiction shall constitute a prior conviction under this subsection. Id.

Sobriety Checkpoints

In New Jersey, sobriety checkpoints have been allowed under both the state and federal constitutions. State v. Mazurek, 567 A.2d 277.

Case Law

State v. Bealor, 187 N.J. 574, 902 A.2d 226 (2006) – Evidence was sufficient to convict operator of DUI where officer testified that defendant had engaged in erratic and dangerous driving, that defendant had slurred and slow speech, that defendant had bloodshot eyes, and that defendant smelled of burnt marijuana. Furthermore, expert testimony defended the state administered blood tests which revealed cannabis in defendant’s blood.

State v. Tamburro,68 N.J. 414, 346 A.2d 401(N.J. 1975) – To convict for DUI drugs, it is sufficient if expert testimony of physical and mental condition and symptoms displayed “under the influence” of a narcotic, but it is not necessity that particular drug be identified.

State v. Siegmeister, 577, 256 A.2d 319 (1969) — Prosecution for operation of motor vehicle under influence of alcohol or drugs is quasi-criminal and state has burden of establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

State v Tiernan, 302 A2d 561 — Conviction for operating vehicle under influence of drugs was reversed, since mere lay testimony is insufficient to sustain conviction. A police office is not qualified as expert by fact that he completed mandatory narcotics training and took subsequent week-long narcotics course.

State v Kraft, 341 A2d 373 — Testimony of police officer as to defendant’s driving and physical characteristics, and a laboratory report showing defendant’s blood was positive for drug(s) was insufficient because state did not have expert to testify regarding testing methodology.

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Law

Status

 

Operational

Law Signed:

 2010

QUALIFYING CONDITIONS

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seizure and/or spasticity disorders
  • Any terminal illness if a doctor has determined the patient will die within a year

PATIENT POSSESSION LIMITS

Two ounces per month

HOME CULTIVATION

No

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES

Yes

STATE-LICENSED DISPENSARIES OPERATIONAL

Yes

MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATUTES

  • N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 24-61-1-10 (2015)
  • N.J. Stat. Ann. §24:6I-3 (2010)

CAREGIVERS

Yes, primary caregiver is a person who has agreed to assist with a registered qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana. Primary caregiver cannot be the patient’s physician. Primary caregiver must be a resident of New Jersey. The primary caregiver can never have been convicted of a felony drug offense. The caregiver must be 18 years of age or older. The caregiver may only have one qualifying patient at any one time.

ESTIMATED NUMBER OF REGISTERED PATIENTS

RECIPROCITY

No

CONTACT INFORMATION

Medical Marijuana Program — Patient Registration Information
http://www.state.nj.us/health/medicalmarijuana/patients/registration-renewal/

Coalition for Medical Marijuana — New Jersey
http://www.cmmnj.org/

Equal Medicine Organization Medical Marijuana Cannabis Cultivation