Cherry Hill Criminal Lawyer: New Jersey Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana
New Jersey was a leader in the fight to decriminalize marijuana in 2010 by being one of the first states to make it legal for treatment centers to dispense the drug for medicinal purposes. Yet in that same year, New Jersey ranked among the top five states in the nation for arrests made for possession of marijuana. In that year alone, over 27,000 people were arrested in New Jersey for possession of marijuana. According to the State Police Uniform Crime Report, New Jersey was fourth in the nation for marijuana arrests that year with an average of one arrest every 22 minutes.
Now three years later, New Jersey remains at a standstill with very minor progress made in its laws on decriminalization and medicinal marijuana programs. Currently, less than 4,000 New Jersey residents are reaping the benefits of the medical program, and only three of the six approved dispensaries have opened. Marijuana has been shown to have tremendous benefits in pain control, relief of nausea, treatment of muscle spasms, and increased appetite for those patients who lose weight due to their illness. Marijuana has also proven to be a valuable treatment for children suffering the effects of epilepsy and cancer.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie does not agree with marijuana’s alleged medicinal value. Christie has stated publicly that he believes medical marijuana is just a front for legalization of the drug and vows to veto any measures to further develop the program in the state. He has imposed strict regulations on what illnesses qualify for medical marijuana, how potent the drug can be, and has made it the only drug in the state subject to taxation. These strategies have made it nearly impossible for a large portion of New Jersey residents to get the marijuana they need, and has forced some families to move out of state.
Despite Governor Christie’s opposition, legislators and advocacy groups continue to fight for laws making marijuana legal in the state. A recent poll of New Jersey voters showed that 67% were in favor of decriminalizing marijuana, making possession in amounts less than 15 grams a civil offense carrying a maximum penalty of a monetary fine. Philadelphia and New York have decriminalized possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana with a fine of $25, and have established a $100 fine for smoking the drug in a public space. Moreover, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Washington, D.C., and Colorado have legalized marijuana.
Mount Holly Criminal Lawyer Michele Finizio Defends Individuals Against Charges of Marijuana Possession in New Jersey
If you or someone you know has been charged with possession of marijuana or another criminal offense in New Jersey, Michele Finizio, criminal lawyer in Mount Holly will provide you with an aggressive defense. The Mount Holly criminal defense lawyers at the law offices of Michele Finizio have built a strong reputation for helping their clients get their charges reduced or acquitted, or have minimal penalties assigned if found guilty.
Call criminal defense lawyer, Michele Finizio at 856-242-7300 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Conveniently located in Moorestown, New Jersey, Michele Finizio serves clients throughout southern New Jersey including Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County and Salem County.