What Do I Need to Know About the Legalization of Marijuana in New Jersey?


In February 2021, New Jersey officially legalized recreational marijuana. This means that adult consumers over 21 years old in the state can now lawfully purchase and use marijuana. However, there will be rules, regulations, and laws dictating recreational marijuana usage.

Cannabis advocates have pushed for legalization in New Jersey and across the nation for years. After winning their position, the state governor finally signed several bills decriminalizing marijuana usage. The legalization is a watershed moment in the pro-cannabis movement.

Many residents of New Jersey feel that the legalization of cannabis has been long overdue. One of their biggest reasons for pushing for legalization is to reduce the burden on courts that prosecute people on possession charges. Those opposed to the legalization of cannabis are concerned that recreational marijuana will increase impaired driving accidents.

What are the Restrictions?

Recreational cannabis has been decriminalized, but its purchase and use comes with certain restrictions:

  • Cannabis cannot be smoked in some public areas, such as restaurants.
  • Users may only purchase cannabis from one of 13 medical marijuana dispensaries licensed by the state. No announcements have been made as to when more dispensaries will receive licenses.
  • Users are limited to buying just one ounce of cannabis from a dispensary at a time, although they may have up to six ounces of cannabis with them. If one is caught with more cannabis, they may be fined.
  • Consumers should not use marijuana and then drive. Those caught violating this rule can be charged and receive appropriate disciplinary actions if convicted. A driving under the influence (DUI) charge can lead to severe consequences.
  • Only people 21 years old and older can buy and be in possession of cannabis. Younger adults and minors caught with cannabis will receive written warnings.
  • Property owners have the right to ban their building or apartment tenants from using cannabis. These bans should be spelled out in leasing agreements.
  • Police may not search a suspected criminal’s personal property, such as a car, simply based on the odor of cannabis.

Can I Still be Charged with a Crime if I Use Cannabis in New Jersey?

Recreational cannabis users are supposed to be safe from conviction if they use the substance appropriately and lawfully. However, a cannabis user may be charged with another crime that is directly linked to cannabis, such as a DUI charge. In New Jersey, a DUI charge due to cannabis or alcohol is considered a traffic violation rather than a misdemeanor or felony. Nevertheless, those unfairly accused of impaired driving should consider retaining the services of a criminal defense lawyer to protect their rights.

South Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Help Clients with DUI Charges Get Fair Treatment

Although recreational marijuana is now legal, there are still parameters to follow. If you received a DUI charge, a South Jersey criminal defense lawyer at Agre & St. John can help you. Complete our online form or call us at 856-454-8674 for an initial consultation. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.

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