Medical Marijuana Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Medical Marijuana Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Laws regarding medical marijuana vary from a state to federal level. Every state has different laws in place regarding marijuana, but the federal law sometimes trumps those state laws. Even when you think you are safe from marijuana charges due to your state’s laws, you are likely still breaking the federal law. Understanding your rights could be what saves you grief later. In New Jersey, medical marijuana use was legal and as of February 2021, recreational use of marijuana is also legal.

Federal Law

Marijuana is a scheduled class 1 drug, meaning the federal government views cannabis as being highly addictive and having no medical value. Doctors may not prescribe cannabis for medical use, though they can recommend or approve its use under the First Amendment. The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Under federal law, you and your doctor are free to discuss the possible benefits and side effects of medical cannabis. Federal judges have ruled that medical necessity cannot be used as a defense, however.

State Law

Laws vary from state to state, so when you go see your prescribing doctor be sure to ask and make sure you understand. You can also speak with attorneys in your area to help you know your rights. States with medical marijuana laws generally have some form of patient registry, which may provide some protection against arrest for possession of a certain amount of marijuana for personal medicinal use. It is important to be aware. Even though medical and recreational marijuana use is legal in New Jersey, it is still illegal to grow your own marijuana.

Many believe that medical marijuana possesses health benefits outside of recreational use. Even so, it’s important to understand the legal ramifications as well. You are always in violation of federal law under any circumstance because marijuana is a schedule 1 drug. In New Jersey, you can possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana but it must be purchased from a registered dispensary. In no cases are you allowed to grow your own marijuana. When it comes to marijuana use, know your rights for using medical marijuana and things will run more smoothly for everyone.

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