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New Jersey Assembly Committee Unanimously Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

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marijuana arrestNew Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee Unanimously Approves Marijuana Decriminalization

The New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would replace criminal penalties with fines for people caught with less than 15 grams of marijuana.

“Some acts harm society and they warrant the intervention of police, prosecutors and perhaps even incarceration,” Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris) said, according to NJ.Com. “Other acts warrant at best, a spanking, and these seems to be one of these situations.”

This is an amazing day for New Jersey. There has been far too much money and resources wasted on investigations and prosecutions of low level marijuana consumers. The fact that the committee approved the bill unanimously is a great sign of what’s to come. Hopefully partisan politics continue to stay out of this issue in New Jersey.

First offenses are punishable by a $150 fine, $200 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense. The fine can be waived if the offender can demonstrate an “extreme hardship,” according to the the legislation (A1465). Below are New Jersey’s current laws, courtesy of NORML:

Possession of 50 grams or less is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Possession of more than 50 grams is a felony, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Possession of any amount within 1,000 feet of a school is a misdemeanor punishable by 100 hours of community service and a fine that will be determined based off the amount possessed.

Cultivation of less than 1 oz is a felony punishable by 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Cultivation of 1 oz to 5lbs is a felony, punishable by 3-5 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Cultivation of 5 to 25lbs (or 10 to 50 plants) is a felony, punishable by 5-10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.

More than 25lbs (or more than 50 plants) is a felony, punishable by 10-20 years in prison and a fine of $300,000.

Selling less than 1oz is a misdemeanor, punishable by 1 year in jail and a $150,000 fine.

Selling more than 1 oz is a felony, punishable by 3 years and $150,000 fine.

Selling any amount within 1,000 feet of school property or a school bus is a felony, punishable by 1-1.5 years in prison and a fine of $150,000.

Selling less than 1 oz within 500 feet of public housing or specified public areas is a felony, punishable by up to 3-5 years in prison and a fine of $15,000, in addition to the 1 year for the related misdemeanor and fine of $150,000.

Selling 1 oz or more within 500 feet of public housing or specified public areas is a felony punishable by 5-10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine, in addition to the 3 years for the related felony and a fine of $150,000.

Selling any amount to minors or pregnant females is a felony, with double the normal penalty (depending on the amount, refer to above.)

Possession or use of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Selling paraphernalia is a felony punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Selling paraphernalia to a minor is a felony punishable by up to 3-5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Being under the influence of marijuana is a disorderly offense, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

If you are growing marijuana and caught with over 10 plants, the presumption of operating a narcotics manufacturing facility occurs which is a 1st degree felony punishable by 10-20 years in prison.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Then please free the NJ Weedman the right way retroactively to save state taxpayer!

  2. More good news to share—I just received an email from the Drug Policy Alliance stating that this bill (Assembly Bill 1465), has been posted for a vote by the full Assembly this Thursday, May 24th! 
    A companion bill will still need to clear the sate senate…but the momentum this bill has in the assembly is fantastic.  Again – I testified at this hearing…and this bi-partisan group has a lot of energy to move NJ toward more a sensible marijuana policy.

    If you live in NJ….Based on the municipality in which you live, you can look up your Assembly members’ phone number on the legislative website: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/municipalities.asp. Each district has two Assembly representatives. 

  3. I think they need a Webster dictionary cause in my view of the word “decriminalize” would mean to the average person, the act carries no criminal attachments. If you are being punished by authorities that means you did in fact commit a crime. All this means is it is a lessor crime but still a crime.

    http://www.facebook.com/okweed

  4. Your an idiot man. It clearly says that the current laws are as follows…. the other dude is right…educate yourself you incompetent fool. Lmfao

  5. please educate yourself on

    “below are New Jersey’s current laws…”

    Just because the committee approves a bill doesn’t mean that its automatically law instantly. The author was actually doing people like you a favor by posting the CURRENT laws, so you wouldn’t go out today under the assumption that a cop is NOT going to nail you with 6 months of jail time or a $1000 fine.

    http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/legprocess.asp 
    ^^ please take a minute and do your research before you call someone “incredibly overselling and incorrect.” The author was simply trying to spread the word of a large step towards ending the marijuana prohibition in our state and you should be celebrating with him, not nit-picking the way that he phrased his article.

  6. what the hell, it clearly says that you will be given jail-time for smoking selling or growing, the authors writing is incredibly overselling and incorrect……. if i’m wrong explain to me how the article says i can smoke weed in front of a police officer and only be given a 150 dollar fine, but the law says if i possess one gram i can recieve half a year of jailtime and a thousand dollar fine and if i am high that’s another 6 months and a thousand dollars.
    The first paragraph says weed can only be penalized by fines.
    Under my count if i take a single puff of weed i can go to jail for a year plus 2000 dollars in fines.

  7. I attended and testified at this hearing.  Truly an amazing day…more work to do.

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