Previously (and still today, although that will change very soon), possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana carried a “Disorderly Person” penalty, which could include a fine of a thousand dollars and up to six months in jail. Possessing more than 50 grams comes with much harsher punishment.
The distribution or sale of under an ounce of marijuana has a whopping 18 months (maximum) jail time and up to a $25,000 fine. Anything more than that was met with much higher penalties. Growing marijuana plants was also a serious crime that could result in jail time and a hefty fine. If someone was caught growing 10 plants or fewer, for example, they would be charged with a crime in the third degree, which could come with three to five years of jail time and a maximum of $25,000 in fines. So far, New Jersey has not been a weed-friendly state.
That said, the state has had a medical marijuana law in place since 2010, which is operational and includes a list of 20 different qualifying conditions. Patients could not grow their own marijuana, but they could access it.
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A Change Is Coming
The new recreational marijuana, passed on Election Day 2020, remains rather unclear but very promising. New Jersey voters said “yes” to a referendum that would allow for a recreational marijuana program. This means that the state constitution will be amended, but the details are still a little foggy.
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In particular, there are no specific regulations and rules for the distribution, sales, purchase, and use of marijuana in the state. Another (or more than one) bill is still needed to do that. However, it is currently in the works, and dispensaries will soon learn the potential licensing requirements.
The exact laws regarding growing marijuana also remain unclear for now. However, thus far, it does not appear to be part of the legalization deal – at least not right away. More likely, the focus will remain on providing users with marijuana using legalized means as soon as possible. In other words, the effort will be put into opening legal dispensaries and getting them to be operational as soon as possible.
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Growing Weed in New Jersey?
At the time of writing, the exact details behind the new marijuana laws in New Jersey remain in limbo. While it is most likely that marijuana will become recreationally available sooner rather than later, it is not a good idea to get caught doing anything that breaks the past laws until the new ones are in place.
If you want to grow your own marijuana, you should probably be discreet. There is always a chance that it could become a part of the recreational marijuana program currently in the works for New Jersey. That’s why it’s a good idea to pay close attention to the news for an updated legal status. In the meantime, if you want to grow, take precautions, and use a Pot for Pot.