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On February 22, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy decriminalized the use and possession of marijuana in small amounts. Individuals at least 21 years old may legally use marijuana under the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance and Marketplace Modernization Act. 

As reported by Newsweek, Garden State residents may possess up to six ounces of marijuana without penalties. Individuals over the age of 21 may also purchase and sell marijuana through dispensaries licensed with the state’s regulators. 

Offenses that may still result in penalties

Individuals found growing marijuana without a New Jersey license could face criminal charges. The unlicensed distribution or selling of cannabis-related controlled substances also remains unlawful. 

When an officer finds an individual under the age of 21 with marijuana, an official may notify his or her parents. The individual may receive a written warning and a judge may refer the offender to perform community service if ignored. 

A traffic stop on Route 80 results in drug charges

As reported by NorthJersey.com, NJ officers pulled over a sports utility vehicle for tailgating on Route 80 and detected a marijuana odor coming from the vehicle. This led to a quick arrival of narcotics officers and a police dog. 

The K-9 unit uncovered 360 pounds of marijuana worth a total value of $1.5 million in 13 duffel bags underneath a blanket in the vehicle. The two men in the SUV each face a charge of marijuana possession over 25 pounds with the intent to distribute. 

New Jersey legalized the use and possession of recreational marijuana, but individuals may face charges when found with more than six ounces. If it appears that an individual intends to sell or distribute the controlled recreational substance, he or she may face a serious felony offense and require legal representation.