SENATE, No. 3582

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 22, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Diegnan and Turner

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Legalizes growing or possessing up to six marijuana plants for personal recreational use, and up to 10 plants for personal medical use, by persons aged 21 or older.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning marijuana and amending various parts of the statutory law.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:35-4 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:35-4.  a.  Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), any person who knowingly maintains or operates any premises, place or facility used for the manufacture of methamphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine, gamma hydroxybutyrate, flunitrazepam, [marijuana in an amount greater than five pounds or ten plants] or any substance listed in Schedule I or II, or the analog of any such substance, or any person who knowingly aids, promotes, finances or otherwise participates in the maintenance or operations of such premises, place or facility, is guilty of a crime of the first degree and shall, except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, the court may also impose a fine not to exceed $750,000.00 or five times the street value of all controlled dangerous substances, controlled substance analogs, gamma hydroxybutyrate or flunitrazepam at any time manufactured or stored at such premises, place or facility, whichever is greater[.];

     b.      As set forth in this subsection, growing or possessing marijuana plants for personal recreational use or personal medical use by a person aged 21 or older is not subject to any punishment, as this possession is not a crime, offense, act of delinquency, or civil violation of law. This subsection applies under the following circumstances:

     (1) A person aged 21 or older may grow or possess up to six marijuana plants for personal recreational use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household; and

     (2) A qualifying patient as defined in section 3 of P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-3), aged 21 or older, or a designated caregiver, as defined in section 3 of P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-3), aged 21 or older, on behalf of the qualifying patient, may grow or possess up to 10 marijuana plants for personal medical use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household.

(cf: P.L.1999, c.133, s.2)

     2.    (New section)  Within 90 days of the effective date of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Cannabis Regulatory Commission established by section 31 of P.L.2019, c.153 (C.24:6I-24) shall implement rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:35-4.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would make it legal for a person aged 21 or over to grow and possess certain amounts of marijuana for personal use.

     P.L.2021, c.16, which legalized the personal use of cannabis, provides that possession of six ounces or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, is not subject to any punishment, as this possession is not a crime, offense, act of delinquency, or civil violation of law.  Under the enactment, possession of more than six ounces of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, constitutes a crime of the fourth degree.  A crime of the fourth degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months or a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

     P.L.2021, c.16 does not make it legal for a person to grow their own marijuana for personal use.

     Under the bill, growing or possessing marijuana plants for personal recreational use or personal medical use by a person aged 21 or older would also not be a crime, offense, act of delinquency, or civil violation of law. The bill would apply under the following circumstances:

      (1) A person aged 21 or older may grow or possess up to six marijuana plants for personal recreational use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household; and

     (2) A qualifying patient as defined in section 3 of P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-3), aged 21 or older, or a designated caregiver, as defined in section 3 of P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-3), aged 21 or older, on behalf of the qualifying patient, may grow or possess up to 10 marijuana plants for personal medical use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household.