New Jersey recently voted to legalize marijuana, in fact, this November, we saw 68% of New Jerseyans vote for legalization. While it is unclear when new laws will be implemented or dispensaries will open in NJ, one thing is clear: the U.S. seems to be changing its stance on marijuana use. Marijuana is currently classified as a schedule 1 drug, which means it is considered to be highly addictive and is even in the same category as drugs like heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. However, the U.S. seems to be moving toward acceptance of the drug, especially when considering the medical benefits it may offer. The United States House will be voting on whether or not to deschedule the drug, making it possible for states to legalize marijuana. Read on to learn more about the upcoming vote.
Lawmakers are scheduled to debate the MORE Act in the near future. MORE stands for Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. The law could have a lot of potential benefits. For example, the bill would “require federal courts to expunge prior marijuana convictions, tax weed to help communities hardest hit by the war on drugs, fund job training, and provide loans to minority-owned small businesses seeking to enter the cannabis industry,” according to NJ.com. Additionally, legalizing marijuana would give banks the ability to offer credit cards and checking accounts to legal cannabis businesses, in turn, making it easier to study the medical benefits of marijuana, an important aspect of legalization.
Some Congress members feel that now is the time to act. In fact, this would be the first-ever congressional vote to remove the ban on cannabis.
It is important to keep in mind that while the U.S. is becoming more open to the idea of legalizing marijuana than ever, no new laws have been put into place, and you still must follow existing laws. Below you will find the current charges for marijuana possession in New Jersey:
- 50 grams or less: disorderly persons offense, a fine of up to $1,000, and up to 6 months of jail time.
- More than 50 grams: a misdemeanor crime, up to 1.5 years of jail time, and a fine of up to $25,000.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a marijuana-related crime, reach out to our firm today to discuss your case and how you may be impacted by the potential new laws being considered in New Jersey and the rest of the country.
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Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.