By: Jordyn Raymon
Date: Septmeber 2, 2021
In February 2021, Governor Phil Murphy legalized and decriminalized marijuana in New Jersey. Governor Murphy stated, “broken and indefensible marijuana laws are no more.” However, there are still many dos and don’ts when it comes to marijuana possession and consumption. Here is everything you need to know about bringing marijuana to your trip down the shore this summer:
If you are wondering if smoking weed on the beach or the boardwalk this summer is allowed, the answer is no. New Jersey’s marijuana laws do not allow public use of marijuana, whether smoking or vaporizing it. In 2018, Governor Murphy updated the Smoke-Free Air Act to include public beaches and parks. Breaking these violations could result in a $250 fine for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third offense. Officers could also confiscate the marijuana, although they are not supposed to.
If smoking and vaporizing marijuana is not allowed, can you consume it using edibles? The answer for that would be that it depends. Some towns may have restricted consumption of any marijuana products in their communities (like Wildwood Crest and Margate). However, there is no ban on comestible cannabis in the state of New Jersey, given you are of legal age.
Is smoking in your car allowed? Nope. This would violate open container laws. New Jersey’s open container laws include a $200 fine for a first offense, a $250 for a second offense, and the possibility of having to perform community service. If you are in the driver’s seat, you can even be charged with a DUI!
Legally, marijuana consumption is only permitted down the shore on private property. This includes homes, hotels, and rentals. If it is not their place, guests must ask for the owner’s permission since it is up to them if they will allow marijuana use on their property.
Since recreational sales of marijuana are not legal yet in New Jersey, no one will be able to purchase cannabis down the shore this summer. Even so, many shore towns have already banned marijuana businesses within their boundaries, which means further implications may be set in place for next summer.
Lastly, what if you are a medical marijuana patient? All of the regulations above will still apply to you. Only patients recommended by a New Jersey doctor could purchase marijuana down the shore. All other out-of-state medical marijuana patients are out of luck.
There is a lot to learn about the cannabis industry for New Jersey residents. Even once the bill to sell recreational marijuana is passed, each town in New Jersey will have a say whether it will be allowed in their districts. So, for this summer, and summers to follow, it is key to be cautious about specific town restrictions. When these regulations do pass, pay attention to the towns that will allow cannabis use for your next summer trip!
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