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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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