New Jersey marijuana laws
Photo by Richard T on Unsplash

In April of 2021, New Jersey officially legalized marijuana for recreational use. This was a big step forward from the strictly medical-use laws of the past. However, continued regulations surrounding New Jersey marijuana laws make buying it recreationally still a challenging task. Although it is no longer illegal to possess or consume marijuana in New Jersey, it’s still far from being fully recognized and recreational in the state. And even if you do manage to purchase some, other laws and regulations restrict your recreational consumption of it.

Buying Marijuana Recreationally

New Jersey marijuana laws require dispensaries to apply for approval for a recreational cannabis license. Dispensaries approved for medicinal selling could also sell recreationally if they chose to do so. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many dispensaries that sell marijuana recreationally in the state, and most of them are located around major cities. Even Atlantic City only has two dispensaries available. 

The lack of legally approved dispensaries makes buying marijuana in New Jersey difficult, especially for those who live outside of city areas. Purchasing marijuana from a non-recognized dispensary or growing your own plants is illegal. If you participate in either activity, you could still face fines or arrest, even if you are following other marijuana use laws.

Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

Marijuana Possession

Anyone over the age of 21 can purchase and possess marijuana. However, there are regulations about the amount of marijuana you can purchase or possess at one time. Adults may have up to six ounces of marijuana in their possession at any time. If you have any more than that, you are breaking the law and can face fines or arrest. Although you can have up to six ounces on you, you can only purchase one ounce of marijuana at a time. 

These regulations on the purchasing and possession of marijuana make it difficult for recreational use, especially for those who live far away from dispensaries. It is also illegal to possess marijuana in a state where it is not legal, even if you purchased it legally in New Jersey. Therefore, you cannot purchase marijuana in New Jersey and take it with you to a concert in Philadelphia. 

Marijuana Consumption

If you do manage to purchase marijuana for recreational use in New Jersey, you may still have a problem with actively being able to consume it. New Jersey marijuana laws state that the only place one can legally consume marijuana is in one’s own residence. If you are a homeowner, this is not much of a problem. However, property owners must give permission for renters to consume marijuana on their property.

For many landlords, the regulations against smoking of any kind are to keep their house free from odors and smoke damage. If you want to recreationally use marijuana on a rented property, talk to your landlord about the different options available. Some property owners are okay with marijuana use that is edible as opposed to smoked and may allow use on their property in such a way.

Marijuana and Traffic Laws

Although it’s legal to consume recreationally, it is illegal to operate a car while under the influence of marijuana. More than that, it is actually illegal for anyone in a car to consume marijuana, even if they are just a passenger. Both the passenger and the driver may face fines or arrest for marijuana use. 

It is also illegal to take marijuana across state lines, even into another state that has it legalized. Marijuana purchased in New Jersey for recreational use must stay in New Jersey.

New Jersey Marijuana Laws vs. Federal Marijuana Laws

According to federal law, the production, distribution, possession, or consumption of marijuana is illegal. However, state laws can override some federal laws. The conflict between the two laws is only in play when certain factors are in place. Cases concerning marijuana possession and use only face federal pursuit if they meet any of the following criteria:

–      Marijuana was distributed to a minor

–      The marijuana revenue supported criminal enterprises

–      Marijuana was taken from a legalized state to a non-legalized state

–      Marijuana use was a cover for other illegal activities (such as the distribution of illegal drugs)

–      Violence or firearms were involved in the cultivation or distribution of marijuana

–      Marijuana use endangered public health (such as driving under the influence of marijuana)

–      The marijuana grew on public land/property

–      Marijuana was used on federal property

If your recreational marijuana use involves any of the above scenarios, you are breaking federal law. You could face more significant charges if arrested. 

New Jersey Marijuana Laws

Although the state legalized marijuana, New Jersey marijuana laws and regulations still make it challenging to purchase and use recreationally. Additionally, the restrictions on the purchase, possession, and use of marijuana make it difficult to enjoy the product legally. If you are facing charges for marijuana use or possession, you need a qualified New Jersey marijuana lawyer on your side. Attorney Leon Matchin is here to help. To schedule a consultation with him about your marijuana charges, you can call his office at (833) 732-7320 or email him at [email protected].