Updated: Nov 10, 2020
On November 3, 2020, New Jersey voters approved a referendum to legalize marijuana. But don’t think New Jerseyans or their neighbors can legally buy cannabis (or use it) just yet. The referendum called for an amendment to NJ’s state constitution, but it won’t go into effect until January 1, 2021 AND there are several issues related to marijuana that are specifically NOT addressed in the amendment.
Possession or consumption
Expungement of prior cannabis related crimes
Lawmakers must still pass bills to decriminalize possession of marijuana AND they have to establish an industry with rules and regulation. Until all that happens police can continue to arrest people who violate existing laws. In the meantime, New Jersey will move forward with establishing a Cannabis Regulatory Commission of 5 experts who will write rules and regulations for governing the cannabis industry in NJ.
What all citizens of New Jersey should understand is that the sale of cannabis products will only be legal through approved dispensaries, which are currently very limited, forcing patients with medical marijuana cards to drive more than an hour to obtain their physician approved medicine.
Plus, supply has long been a problem in New Jersey’s medical marijuana program making the state woefully underprepared for an estimated 1 million new cannabis customers. To be sure, many steps will need to be taken to promote appropriate growth of the industry so that patients with a medical marijuana card can have better access to dispensaries and the products they need, while at the same time allow adults self-determination for choosing to manage their own health and wellness with cannabis-based products.
Be sure to keep in touch with PTCannabisInfo for updates on the endocannabinoid system, cannabis use in rehabilitation and how adult-use legalization can and should influence the conversations rehabilitation professionals have with their patients.
For more information, about the legalization of adult use marijuana in NJ, check out this article in Marijuana Movement https://www.marijuanamoment.net/new-jersey-lawmakers-file-marijuana-sales-bill-days-after-voters-approve-legalization/