Marijuana Laws in New Jersey

Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates defends adults and juveniles charged with marijuana crimes in New Jersey.

Marijuana — also known as pot, weed, bud and Mary Jane — is a plant-based drug. Smoking marijuana can get a person high; the drug is also used medicinally. Marijuana drug laws around the country and in New Jersey have been changing to accommodate marijuana use.

In New Jersey, the majority of marijuana laws deal with:

These laws are applicable for:

The law can be confusing, however. For example, medical marijuana has been legal since 2010. While it is legal to possess 2 ounces of marijuana with a prescription from a doctor, possession of the same amount of non-medical marijuana is punishable by 18 months in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Driving under the influence of marijuana in NJ breaks DWI/DUI laws, just the same as alcohol laws, and comes with serious penalties.

Possession of Marijuana in NJ

Nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, but possession of marijuana that has not been medically prescribed is still a serious offense in New Jersey.

PossessionChargeMaximum Jail TimeMaximum FineAdditional Penalties
50 grams or lessDisorderly Person6 months$1,000
<50 gramsFelony18 months$25,000
Within 1,000 feet of a schoolAdditional fine (variable depending on quantity)100 hours of community service
In a motor vehicleTraffic Offense2 years loss of driving privilege

Distribution or Possession with the Intent to Distribute in NJ

Twenty-nine states — including New Jersey — and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana. If you do not have a license to dispense marijuana in New Jersey, distribution is a serious offense with stiff penalties.

DistributionChargeJail TimeMaximum Fine
>1 ounceCrime - 4th degree18 months, with a minimum sentence of ½ or ⅓ of the sentence$25,000
1 ounce – >5 poundsCrime - 3rd degree3–5 years$25,000
5 – >25 poundsCrime - 2nd degree5–10 years$150,000
25 pounds or moreCrime - 1st degree10 years (mandatory) – 20 years$300,000
Within 1,000 feet of school property or school busCrime - 3rd degree3 years (mandatory) – 5 years$150,000
>1 ounce within 500 feet of certain public propertyCrime - 3rd degree3–5 years$25,000
<1 ounce within 500 feet of certain public propertyFelony5–10 years$150,000
Sale to minors or pregnant womenFelonyDoubleDouble

Cultivation of Marijuana in NJ

Growing marijuana in New Jersey is illegal. Patients who have been prescribed marijuana must purchase it from a state-licensed dispensary.

CultivationChargeMaximum Jail TimeMaximum Fine
1 ounce – >5 pounds/ >10 plantsCrime - 3rd degree3–5 years$25,000
5 – >25 pounds/10 – >50 plantsCrime - 2nd degree5–10 years$150,000
<50 lbs/<50 plantsCrime - 1st degree10 years (mandatory) – 20 years$300,000

Hashish & Concentrates Charges

The state of New Jersey defines hashish as "the resin extracted from any part of the plant Genus Cannabis L. and any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such resin."

Hashish and ConcentratesChargeMaximum Jail TimeMaximum Fine
Possession: 5 grams or lessDisorderly Person6 months$1,000
Possession: <5 gramsCrime - 4th degree18 months$25,000
Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent of distribution: >5 gramsCrime - 4th degree18 months$25,000
Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent of distribution: 5 grams – >1 poundCrime - 3rd degree3–5 years$25,000
Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent of distribution: 1 pound – >5 poundsCrime - 2nd degree5–10 years$150,000
Manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing with intent of distribution: 5 pounds or moreCrime - 1st degree10–20 years$200,000
Within 1,000 feet of school property or school busCrime - 3rd degree3 years (mandatory) – 15 years$150,000

Paraphernalia

Drug paraphernalia refers to any equipment that is used to produce, conceal and consume illicit drugs, such as pipes and cigarette papers.

ParaphernaliaChargeMaximum Jail TimeMaximum Fine
Possession or use of paraphernaliaDisorderly Person6 months$1,000
Sale of paraphernaliaCrime - 4th degree18 months$10,000
Sale of paraphernalia to minorsCrime - 3rd degree3–5 years$25,000

Marijuana Case Defense

If you an are an adult or juvenile facing drug charges, you need an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer on your side. We understand your situation and will work with you to aggressively defend and/or negotiate the best possible outcome for you. Among other strategies, we will work to determine:

Conditional Release

If this is your first prosecution, we will work towards trying to obtain conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for you. In many cases, conditional release lets you choose probation instead of a trial. Once the probation has been completed successfully, the charge does not appear on your criminal record.

If you are facing marijuana charges, it is critically important that you contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to plan your defense.