NJ: Statement of Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal on Constitutional Amendment Legalizing Adult-Use Cannabis
(STL.News) – Yesterday, New Jerseyans approved an amendment to our State Constitution, legalizing regulated marijuana, referred to as “cannabis,” for those 21 or older. The Amendment, which makes clear that it does not legalize unregulated marijuana, takes effect on January 1, 2021, and requires the Legislature to enact a law establishing a regulatory scheme for legal cannabis. All of the State’s criminal laws relating to marijuana continue to apply, until, among other things, the Legislature enacts a law creating that regulatory framework. It is important that residents accurately understand the current situation, so they do not inadvertently engage in criminal conduct relating to marijuana – conduct that may be legal in the future once the Legislature acts, but is not presently legal based on yesterday’s vote. While my office will soon issue additional guidance for law enforcement and prosecutors to address this situation, we have reminded them of the broad discretion they already possess in handling low-level marijuana offenses.