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New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana


Cannabis Laws in New Jersey vs. New York: Know the Difference

As of March 31, 2021, New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults age 21+. This is significant, as pot smokers could face little to no consequences for using cannabis in the Empire State. As such, any adult who is 21 and over can use and possess marijuana in New York.

Although New Jersey legalized adult-use cannabis earlier this year, state residents couldn’t enjoy the same freedoms in New York as they could in the Garden State. Now, New Jersians arguably have more cannabis rights in New York than they do in their home state.

Considering the fact that New Jersey is quickly becoming New York City’s primary source of new-in commuters, totaling 320,000 according to a 2017 Regional Plan Association report, New Jersians need to know the differences between the cannabis laws in NJ vs. NY. Let’s take a look.

New York Recreational Marijuana Laws

Under New York’s marijuana law, the following rules are effective immediately:

  • Individuals may lawfully possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis
  • Individuals may possess up to 5 pounds of cannabis in their residences
  • Individuals may possess up to 24 grams of cannabis concentrate
  • Individuals may grow 3 mature and 3 immature plants, or have up to 12 plants total in their household

Possessing more than 3 ounces of cannabis is punishable by a $125 fine and possessing over 16 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor.

New Jersey Recreational Cannabis Laws

New Jersey’s recreational marijuana laws are a bit complicated, on the other hand. It’s virtually impossible to buy weed from a licensed dispensary in the state, but you can legally possess or use up to 6 ounces of marijuana or 17 grams of hashish on private property without getting in legal trouble. You can be high in public without getting in trouble, except if you’re behind the wheel — that could render DUI charges.

For now, though, you cannot buy or sell recreational marijuana in New Jersey until state legislators formulate bills that kick-start the cannabis market. But until then, don’t grow your own marijuana at home, and possess no more than 6 ounces of cannabis in New Jersey to best avoid criminal charges.

If you happen to get caught up with drug charges in New Jersey, however, you can count on our criminal defense experts to work tirelessly to fight your charges. New Jersey’s progressive leaps to decriminalize cannabis could potentially work in your favor and ultimately, help get your charges reduced or dropped altogether.

To get started, contact us at (201) 574-7919!

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