Medical Marijuana in New Jersey
Is there really medical marijuana in NJ, and if so, since when? Medical marijuana is legal for registered patients to use it who have qualifying conditions in the state of New Jersey, which used to be extremely restrictive. New Jersey legalized marijuana for medical use in 2010. New Jersey has a medical marijuana patient registry that has been documenting people with medical use certificates for medical marijuana since 2012. New Jersey calls their medical marijuana programs the Medical Marijuana Program or MMP. The types of marijuana that are allowed in the state of New Jersey for medical conditions include:
- Oral lozenges
In 2013 a new law was formed that allows the edible forms of marijuana to be consumed by patients younger than 18. Then in 2019, another law was made that made access to medical marijuana even more straightforward. A law called Jakes law then made home delivery of medical marijuana legal. It increased the amounts of marijuana that a person can have in their possession. This law expanded the medical marijuana business and agriculture since more cultivators and retailers were needed for the increase in prescriptions.
New Laws Give Marijuana Advocates Big Wins
Additionally, new laws were just passed in New Jersey that makes marijuana even more legal. The Governor of New Jersey made the following statement recently:
We now have laws that will usher in a new industry based on equity; reinvest dollars into communities, and promote both public health and public safety. (Governor Phil Murphy, 2021)
Along with the Philadelphia Inquirer, who reported this quote from the New Jersey Governor regarding medical marijuana in NJ:
The new laws do three things. The first creates a regulated cannabis industry in the Garden State. The second decriminalizes the possession of up to six ounces of marijuana. The third removes low-level marijuana arrests from the records of as many as a quarter of a million people. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
This past February 2021, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act into law. It legalized possession of up to 6 ounces of cannabis. It made it so that selling marijuana is much more comfortable and legal. The new regulation from February also means that only warnings will be given to minors if they are found in possession of marijuana instead of criminal charges.
Overview of Current NJ Medical Marijuana Statutes
In summary, anyone over the age of 18 in New Jersey can now legally buy medical marijuana as long as they have a physician’s note. And the use of marijuana is to be in private at a person’s home or indoors. This is similar to the New Jersey laws of no open alcohol containers allowed in public. There are some dispensaries for cannabis that offer rooms and other private surroundings for the people to use or smoke their medical marijuana when they are there to purchase it for a medical condition.
Medical marijuana patients are allowed to possess 3 ounces of marijuana. However, New Jersey does not allow patients to grow their marijuana. The success of medical marijuana in helping people with severe illness and painful conditions is significant. Medical marijuana is a positive medication for many people. However, medical marijuana is still an addicting substance. There are special treatment programs that help people who are addicted to marijuana that can get them freedom from their addiction.
Will Marijuana Use or Possession Be Decriminalized in New Jersey?
Medical marijuana is still marijuana, and it has the potential to cause a person to become dependant on it, so there are no decriminalization talks within the state government about this. The programs that are available to help a person who is addicted to street marijuana, commonly known as weed, rely on evidence-based types of treatment that help a person uncover why they need and desire to use marijuana in the first place, despite the harmful consequences on their personal and/or professional lives. To learn about marijuana addiction counseling, therapy, and treatment programs, please reach out to our NJ Addiction Resources representatives on the 24/7 confidential helplines.