With new governor Phil Murphy at the helm, the state of New Jersey looks to be headed in the direction of Colorado when it comes to the drug marijuana. Of course, there is still plenty that needs to be done in order to stand level with Colorado but the governor and New Jersey are doing what they can to head in that direction.
For starters, the governor is aiming to expand the state’s rules when it comes to the use of medical marijuana. The state is adding five more medical conditions — anxiety, migraines, Tourette’s syndrome, chronic musculoskeletal and visceral pain — as eligible reasons for a medical marijuana prescription.
In addition, the patient registration fees will be cut in half, making them $100. Also, regular physicians will be allowed to submit qualifying patients’ names to a New Jersey registry and lawmakers will set regulations for which doctors could actually prescribe the marijuana.
The governor also hopes to create licensee classes for cultivating, processing and dispensing of the drug.
While many believe marijuana can be of great help with certain medical conditions, the debate over the legalization of the drug is still playing out across the country. For now though, possession of the drug without a prescription is still a crime.
NJ Drug Laws Are Strict
While the change in medical marijuana prescriptions is a noteworthy one, it does not take away from New Jersey’s strict policy on the illegal possession of marijuana. Under state law, if you are caught with 50 grams or less of marijuana it is considered a disorderly persons offense. You could be sentenced to six months in county prison and be fined up to $1,000. In addition, your driver’s license could be suspended for two years.
If you are found to be in possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana it can be a fourth degree felony. If convicted your prison sentence could increase to 18 months and your fine could be as much as $25,000.
These punishments only get worse if your crime involves possession of drug paraphernalia or if you were looking to distribute. Furthermore, to be convicted of a drug offense could greatly affect other parts of your life. It can make it more difficult to find a job, rent an apartment or keep a job you already had.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing drug charges in New Jersey it is in your best interest to contact a professional criminal defense attorney like John W. Tumelty. He has three decades of experience when it comes to defending those facing drug crimes.
Mr. Tumelty knows the best way to construct a strong defense and will do all he can to make sure your life is not permanently damaged because of a simple possession charge or other related charges. For a consultation, call today at 609-385-4010.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.