JERSEY CITY, NEWARK, and ELIZABETH, New Jersey. In 2016, 32,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession, despite the ongoing debate about legalizing marijuana in New Jersey. According to the New York Times, New Jersey is considering legalizing recreational marijuana, but the debate has raised many questions about past enforcement efforts and the fate of individuals awaiting trial. Many critics of past marijuana enforcement argue that minority offenders were often targeted by police. According to the New York Times, if you are black in New Jersey, you are three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than if you are white.
A big part of the debate regarding marijuana legalization involves how the state will handle cases of those who are already arrested who have not yet faced trial, and how the state will handle people who already have criminal records for marijuana possession charges. Having a criminal record for marijuana can have a range of collateral consequences, including issues landing jobs, and difficulty securing certain types of federal aid.
If you have been arrested for marijuana possession in New Jersey, you may have many questions about your rights. As many states move to legalize possession of marijuana for recreational use, marijuana enforcement is becoming less of a priority in those states, but not in New Jersey. If you are facing marijuana possession, sale, or distribution charges in New Jersey, you should take the situation seriously because you could face jail time, fines, and other collateral consequences of having a criminal record.
While the Legislature continues to consider legalization, until such a law is enacted, individuals can still be arrested for marijuana possession and sale. Furthermore, it isn’t clear what the path toward legalization will look like, so if you’ve been arrested for marijuana possession or sale, it is important to take your arrest seriously. It is possible that prosecutors may eventually move forward with some of the possession cases on hold. The Law Office of Eric M. Mark are drug possession lawyers in Jersey City, Newark, and Elizabeth can review the circumstances of your arrest and help you understand your options when it comes to arrest for marijuana sale or possession.
Even if marijuana were to be legalized in New Jersey, it is important to understand that marijuana is not legalized at the federal level. This means that enforcement at the federal level continues to follow federal guidelines for sentencing. The severity of charges you can face vary depending on the nature of the crime, the amount of drug you are found to possess, and whether you were distributing or selling controlled substances. Any drug charge at the federal level can carry serious consequences for your freedom, your criminal record, and your rights. The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is a drug possession lawyer in Jersey City, Newark, and Elizabeth can assist you if you are facing drug charges. Contact us now for more information.
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