New Jersey

New Jersey has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. If you’re arrested for marijuana possession in New Jersey, contact an attorney immediately so that you have the best chance of getting a positive outcome to your case.

New Jersey Marijuana Possession Laws

Marijuana possesion is a criminal offense in New Jersey regardless of how much marijuana you have in your possession and what you intend to do with it. Possession of small amounts–less than 50 grams–are misdemeanors; all other marijuana-related crimes are felonies. Being under the influence of marijuana is also illegal in New Jersey.

New Jersey bans the sale, manufacture and possession of marijuana paraphrenalia. Paraphrenalia-related crimes are also felonies, except for simple possession.

New Jersey Marijuana Possession Penalties

Marijuana possession in New Jersey leads to jail time, fines and loss of driver’s license. Possession of 50 grams or less or being under the influence of marijuana is less serious than other marijuana-related crimes and is punishable by six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Any other personal use possession charge is a felony, which is can lead to a jail sentence of 18 months and a $25,000 fine. Offenders must complete 100 hours of community service if they were under the influence or possessed marijuana near a school (1,000 feet or less away.)

Manufacture and distribution of marijuana is also a felony in New Jersey. If you manufacture or distribute less than one ounce of marijuana, you will face a jail sentence of 18 months and a $25,000 fine. Selling or distributing larger amounts leads to longer jail sentences and higher fines; selling more than 25 pounds of marijuana can lead to a 20 year jail sentence and a $300,000 fine. Subsequent convictions lead to longer jail sentences and higher fines as well, and if you sell marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school you must serve at least one to three years in jail, depending on how much marijuana you sold, and pay a $150,000 fine. If you sell to a minor or a pregnant woman, you can be sentenced to twice the usual penalty for marijuana sales.

If you grow your own marijuana plants, you can also face very serious penalties. Growing more than 10 plants is considered maintaining a facility to produce a controlled substance, which carries a $750,000 fine and a 10-20 year jail sentence with no chance of parole for the first 1/3 to 1/2 of your sentence.

Possession of paraphernalia leads to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, while sale of paraphernalia is punishable by 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine. Selling paraphernalia to a minor carries a prison term of 3-5 years as well as a $15,000 fine .

It is against the law to drive under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey; however, drivers cannot be forced to take a drug test. New Jersey drivers who are convicted of drugged driving lose their license for seven months and must pay a fine of $300-$500 in addition to serving up to 30 days in jail. A second offense causes the driver to lose his or her license for two years, serve up to 90 days in jail and perform 30 days of community service. After being convicted of a third offense, the driver loses his or her license for 10 years, pays a fine of $1,000 and serves at least 180 days in jail. He or she must also install an interlock device in the vehicle.

Decriminalization in New Jersey

A bill was introduced into the New Jersey legislature in June 2011 to decriminalize marijuana use. If passed, the bill would completely decriminalize possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana and decriminalize being under the influence of marijuana. (http://copssaylegalize.blogspot.com/2011/06/new-jersey-narc-supports-new-bi.html)

New Jersey Medical Marijuana Laws

New Jersey passed a medical marijuana law in January 2010. This law allowed severely ill patients to get medical marijuana prescriptions filled at one of six state-run centers. Patients are limited to 2 ounces of marijuana per month, cannot use it in public, and cannot grow it themselves. It can only be prescribed for diseases on a list approved by the legislature such as AIDS and cancer.

Legal Defenses And Court Options

In some cases, defendants may be able to enter a rehabilitation program rather than going to jail. This type of program is particularly recommended for people who have multiple convictions for drugged driving. Up to 90 of the 180 required days in jail can be spent in a rehab program after a third offense for drugged driving. Drugged driving charges can also be thrown out if the defendant was forced to take a drug test, as drug tests must be submitted to voluntarily.