A referendum on the ballot for the November 3rd general election in New Jersey seeks to legalize controlled recreational use of marijuana (specifically, cannabis). Recent polls indicate that the ballot question has significant support among New Jersey voters.
New Jersey Ballot Measure Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Although New Jersey has already legalized the use of medical marijuana, the Nov. 3rd ballot measure seeks to make it legal for adults 21 years and older to engage in recreational use of cannabis; the state government would also set up a regulated market for the legal sale of cannabis and cannabis products.
Even if the measure passes, legalized sale of cannabis or cannabis products would not be immediately available. Based on the timeline of other states that have previously legalized the use of recreational marijuana and regulated the sale of marijuana products, it will likely take as many as two years for the New Jersey state legislature to write and pass regulations governing the legal market for sale of marijuana.
Polls Indicate Substantial Support
A recent poll of 582 likely New Jersey voters, conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University between September 30th and October 5th, indicates that two-thirds of voters support the legalization of recreational marijuana use. Sixty-one percent of poll respondents stated that they either have voted in favor of the ballot measure or would vote in favor of the measure; 29 percent of respondents stated they either already have or would vote no.
Groups advocating for rejection of the measure cite concerns about access to marijuana by minors and underage adults along with the potential for increased number of marijuana-intoxicated drivers on the road. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws disputes these objections, arguing that these concerns have not been borne out in other states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
Approval of Referendum Would Be Followed by Significant Regulation-Making
As noted, even if this ballot measure passes, the legalized sale of marijuana or cannabis products will not be fully legalized for another year or two while the state legislature undertakes the process of writing the regulations governing the legal sale of marijuana. Until then, selling or distributing marijuana will still remain illegal.
Even once the regulations for the market for legal recreational marijuana go into effect, legally selling marijuana will likely involve significant licensure requirements, as it has in many other states that have legalized the use and sale of it. In many of the states that have legal sales of recreational marijuana, regulations often prohibit individuals with prior convictions for the possession, sale, or distribution of controlled dangerous substances, even including marijuana, from owning, operating, or even working in legal recreational marijuana dispensaries.
If you are arrested for possession of marijuana even, if the proposed ballot measure passes, you still need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you understand your legal rights and options and to help you favorably resolve your charges. A criminal defense attorney can also help you explore your rights for expunging criminal convictions in the even you are considering working in a legalized marijuana industry in New Jersey.
Contact an Experienced Moorestown Drug Defense Attorney About Your Marijuana Drug Crime Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a drug crime in New Jersey? A drug crime conviction can carry with it heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension! That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified drug defense lawyer about your case. Criminal defense lawyer, Michele Finizio represents clients charged with use, possession, production, distribution, and related drug offenses in Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Willingboro, Pemberton, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 230-0374 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at 9 East Main St., Moorestown, NJ.
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.