It's official: Marijuana is now legal in the state of New Jersey. Just yesterday, Governor Phil Murphy signed three bills that decriminalize the use of the drug across the state, also implementing guidelines regarding the sale and taxation of recreational cannabis for folks 21 and older.
Although this is clearly huge news, it'll take some time for all official changes to be implemented. Possession of up to six ounces of the stuff is now decriminalized, for example, but legal purchases are still not a thing. According to the Governor, it'll take between six months to a year for dispensaries to get going on recreational sales. And just in case you were wondering, no, the law still doesn't allow you to grow plants in the comfort of your own home.
One immediate change does involve our personal space, though: the new rulings allow for legally smoking weed in most private places where indulging in cigarettes is allowed. Do note that, as a general statement, weed is still forbidden where alcohol is as well.
What does this all mean for New Yorkers? We cannot cross state lines with marijuana just yet (that would be against federal law), but we can travel to the neighboring state, buy the cannabis and consume it there under legal protection. The new laws also include provisions about marijuana coffee shops and in-state delivery, just in case you're thinking of a longer trip to Jersey.
Will our state be next to allow for recreational use of weed? We have yet to see. The good news: Just last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his proposal to move forward with legalization plans this calendar year.
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