Illinois Sees the Light in Lighting Up – Legal Recreational Marijuana Use Increases        

As New Jersey struggles to pass legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, another state has been added to the growing list of those that have decriminalized the purchase and possession of marijuana.

Illinois has become the 11th state to legalize cannabis. Under the new law, up to 30 grams of cannabis may be purchased and possessed by adult residents. Non-residents may also legally purchase and possess cannabis, but in a lesser amount.

As part of the Illinois law decriminalizing cannabis, pardons will be granted to those with non-violent conviction for small amounts of cannabis. Stalled New Jersey legislation has proposed expunging criminal convictions for possessing marijuana, recognizing the long lasting adverse consequences of a criminal record.

New Jersey recently expanded the state’s medical marijuana program by making more patients eligible for medical marijuana and easing restrictions on dispensaries. Efforts to legalize recreational marijuana use in New Jersey continue, with the possibility that voters may decide next year by ballot referendum whether marijuana use should be legalized.

Currently, New Jersey residents who do not have a Medical Cannabis prescription recommendation remain subject to criminal charges.  Possessing under 50 grams of Marijuana is a Disorderly Persons Level Offense, subject to up to 6 months in the County Jail, a minimum 6 month loss of license as well as additional fines and penalties.

For information on the current state of the law as well as criminal charges relating to possessing, growing or distributing marijuana, contact the attorneys at Rosenberg | Perry & Associates. (609) 216-7400.