In the Garden State, with a Motto of “Liberty and prosperity”, you will feel the wrath of very harsh penalties and very little liberty, if caught with more than 50 grams of marijuana. New Jersey has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country.
Possession of 50 grams or less is only fined as a disorderly person, with up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine and the same for simple possession of hash, and concentrates and paraphernalia – but beyond that in much more serious trouble.
Given New Jersey’s overall very strict law against Marijuana, we almost move her into the worst category. It was only the laws that possession of 50 grams or less, or getting caught with paraphernalia is only a citation (on par with a disorderly person), which kept this state out of our bottom category. Get busted in NJ selling MJ, or possessing larger amounts of weed, hash or concentrates and you will be singing the blues!!
Every other penalty is a felony in New Jersey:
- Distribution or Intent to Distribute, any amount of marijuana, hash or concentrates
- Cultivation – any amount
- Sale of paraphernalia
Incarceration for the above felony offenses
Distribution or Intent to Distribute
- Less than one ounce 5 years
- 1 ounce to 5 pounds: 3* – 5 years
- 5 – 25 pounds: 5* – 10 years
- 25 pounds or more: 10* – 20 years
- 1 oz – 5 pounds: 3* – 5 years
- 5 – 25 pounds (10 – 49 plants): 5* – 10 years
- More than 25 lbs (50+ plants): 10* – 20 years
New Jersey also has enacted the draconian mandatory minimum sentence; see the site note for more details. This state does allow condition release (also known as alternative or diversion sentencing), for first prosecutions. This gives the defender the option of probation over a trial, after successful completion, the criminal record no longer reflects the charge.
The only glimmer of hope in The Garden State, are the active medical marijuana laws. If you’ve got a valid proscription for your medication, you’re safe.
How Does Your State Compare To New Jersey?