New Jersey Votes to Legalize Recreational Use of Marijuana

As you know, in the state of New Jersey, citizens were asked whether marijuana should be legalized for recreational use on the ballot this year. Election results were telling: over 65% of those who voted were in support of marijuana legalization, and now, with the vote passing, the sale, cultivation, and recreational use of marijuana have been legalized in New Jersey, and the new law is set to go into effect on January 1, 2021. That being said, while this is a big charge, certain aspects of the law were not addressed in the initial bill, including whether those charged with certain marijuana-related crimes in the past can have their records expunged. The new law also did not contain certain limits on the legality of the drug, such as possession limits.

While this is a momentous move for many in the industry, of course, it was not met without strong opposition, including Kevin Sabet, the president of SAM, who said, “It’s time to finally take action on the social justice concerns the promoters of legalization have raised, but they will not be solved by creating a commercial marijuana market in New Jersey. Marijuana commercialization is indeed a social injustice and polling has routinely shown New Jersey residents don’t want pot shops in their back yards. It’s time to end this reckless push once and for all.”

Another member of the oposition, Shawn Hyland, Director of Advocacy for the Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey, stated, “The detrimental effect recreational marijuana will have in the Garden State is undeniable. Study after study shows legalizing pot will put the public safety of New Jerseyans at risk. If our legislators continue to support this measure, they are ignoring the historical trends of harmful youth usage and the extensive negative effect legalized marijuana has had on communities of color.”

You should also understand that until the new law takes effect, marijuana is still considered illegal for recreational use in New Jersey, and if you currently facing marijuana charges, you absolutely need the assistance of a New Jersey criminal defense attorney. As more information comes out regarding the bill, our firm will provide you with updates.

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Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.