Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In New Jersey, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. (NJ Stat. Ann. § 24:21-5.) However, despite being a Schedule I drug, New Jersey does allow medical marijuana use under limited circumstances. And while not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey.
To learn about New Jersey's medical marijuana laws, see New Jersey Medical Marijuana Laws.
For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in New Jersey, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in New Jersey.
It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana (including small amounts for personal use) in New Jersey. Penalties vary according to the amount possessed. Second and subsequent convictions may be punished with up to double to penalties described below. (NJ Stat. Ann. § 2C:35-5 & 2C:36-2.)
It is illegal to cultivate marijuana in New Jersey. Penalties vary according to the number of plants cultivated. Second and subsequent convictions may be punished with up to double to penalties described below. (NJ Stat. Ann. § 2C:35-4.)
Selling marijuana (or possessing marijuana with the intent to do so) in New Jersey is illegal. Violations are penalized according to the amount possessed or sold; with additional penalties for violations within a school zone, or for violations involving a minor or a pregnant woman. Second and subsequent convictions may also be punished with up to double to penalties described below. (NJ Stat. Ann. § 2C:35-7.)
It is illegal in New Jersey to use or sell drug paraphernalia (or possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties vary according to the violation, with harsher penalties for sales to a minor. (NJ Stat. Ann. § 2C:36-1.)
Using paraphernalia (or possessing it with the intent to do so) may be punished with a fine of up to $1,000, six months in jail, or both.
Penalties for selling paraphernalia to adults include a fine of up to $10,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both. Selling paraphernalia to a minor is punishable with a fine of up to $15,000, between three and five years in prison, or both.
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.