The History of Cannabis in New Jersey


New Jersey has recently legalized recreational marijuana. With the passing of Senate Bill 24, New Jersey joins eight other states that have legalized cannabis for adults over the age of 21. This means that you can now purchase and consume marijuana legally for personal use.

But how did we get to this point? What does this mean for residents of New Jersey? And will it remain legal in the future? Here is everything you need to know about cannabis laws in New Jersey.

The History of Cannabis in New Jersey

In the United States, the use of cannabis has been illegal for generations. However, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act into law. This act classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.

Despite this classification, many states have legalized cannabis in some form or another. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana with Proposition 215. Since then, 29 states have followed suit.

New Jersey became the most recent state to legalize recreational marijuana on January 17th of this year. Senate Bill 24 was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy and allows adults over 21 years old to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis per day from licensed dispensaries.

But what does this mean for residents of New Jersey? How does it affect you? And will it remain legal in the future? Let’s find out!

What Will Legalization Mean in New Jersey?

Senate Bill 24 will legalize recreational cannabis for people over the age of 21. Residents will be able to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana per day from a dispensary, 16 ounces of edible products in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form, 7 grams of concentrate, and up to 6 immature plants.

The bill also allows for the state’s existing Twenty three medical marijuana dispensaries to sell products for recreational use if they qualify.

The law is scheduled to go into effect on January 18th, 2020—meaning that it will be legal to grow, consume, and purchase cannabis products in New Jersey after the new year.

Legal Issues with Cannabis

In the United States, marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug. This means that it’s not currently recognized for any medical use and has a high potential for abuse.

The state of New Jersey had previously legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes only. However, this was limiting because doctors could only prescribe cannabis to patients with certain qualifying conditions. Senate Bill 24 now allows adults over 21 years old to buy weed from dispensaries, but they are still limited to 2 ounces at a time.

The law also provides some protection for those who cannot find jobs due to their status as cannabis consumers. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against applicants based on their history of marijuana use unless they’re applying for work in the transportation industry or positions where drug testing is required by federal or state law.

Although residents can now legally purchase weed, the law is still quite new and will require some time to see how it affects New Jersey communities. The next few years will show whether this legislation will encourage more people to consume cannabis recreationally on top of using it medicinally.

Safety Concerns with Cannabis

In the past, there were many safety concerns with cannabis. The only way to purchase cannabis was through a black market dealer.

Additionally, you could never know if the cannabis you purchased was safe for use. With legal marijuana, people can purchase it from a dispensary that is regulated and inspected by the state.

The dispensaries are required to follow strict guidelines when it comes to growing and distributing marijuana. To ensure safety, they must follow rules about labeling, packaging, and potency testing. This makes it easier for consumers to make an informed decision about what they are consuming without serious health ramifications.

The legal status of cannabis in the United States is complicated, with laws varying on a state-by-state basis. Cannabis was first criminalized in New Jersey in 1913, but the enforcement of these laws was not effectively carried out until the 1960s when the drug became associated with counterculture movements. Today, marijuana is illegal to use recreationally or medicinally without a prescription.

However, New Jersey legislators are currently considering legalizing recreational marijuana, which would make it the third state in the country to do so. And if passed, this law would have some pretty big implications for the state.

Expected to create thousands of jobs and generate millions in revenue, legalization would also reduce the number of people incarcerated for drug-related crimes. Despite these possible benefits, there are numerous considerations that need to be made before recreational marijuana sale begins in New Jersey. The health and safety risks associated with using marijuana are well documented, but we remain positive that more positives will come from this legalization than negatives, but only time will tell how the State of New Jersey handles the legalization of recreational marijuana.



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