Bill Text: NJ S3621 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Legalizes personal use of marijuana, subject to voter approval.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-18 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S3621 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3621-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3621

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 18, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  RONALD L. RICE

District 28 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Legalizes personal use of marijuana, subject to voter approval.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning marijuana, subject to voter approval, amending           

     various parts of the statutory law and supplementing Title 2C of            

     the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:35-10 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:35-10.  Possession, Use or Being Under the Influence, or Failure to Make Lawful Disposition.

     a.     It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain, or to possess, actually or constructively, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, unless the substance was obtained directly, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order form from a practitioner, while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.).  Any person who violates this section with respect to:

     (1)   A controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV other than those specifically covered in this section, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $35,000.00 may be imposed;

     (2)   Any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, classified in Schedule V, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $15,000.00 may be imposed;

     (3) Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants [, or] is a disorderly person;

     (4) Possession of more than five grams of hashish is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed; [or]

     [(4)] (5) Possession of more than one ounce (28.38 grams) of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, but not exceeding 50 grams [or less] of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, [or] is subject to a civil penalty as forth in section 4 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill);

     (6) Possession of five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person; or 

     (7)   Possession of one ounce (28.38 grams) or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, does not constitute a crime or offense and is not unlawful.

     Any person who commits any offense defined in this section while on any property used for school purposes which is owned by or leased to any elementary or secondary school or school board, or within 1,000 feet of any such school property or a school bus, or while on any school bus, and who is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall, in addition to any other sentence which the court may impose, be required to perform not less than 100 hours of community service.

     b.    Any person who uses or who is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance, or its analog, for a purpose other than the treatment of sickness or injury as lawfully prescribed or administered by a physician is a disorderly person.  Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, it shall not be a violation of this section for a person to be under the influence of marijuana.

     In a prosecution under this subsection, it shall not be necessary for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of any specific drug, but it shall be sufficient for a conviction under this subsection for the State to prove that the accused did use or was under the influence of some controlled dangerous substance, counterfeit controlled dangerous substance, or controlled substance analog, other than marijuana, by proving that the accused did manifest physical and physiological symptoms or reactions caused by the use of any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.

     c.     Any person who knowingly obtains or possesses a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog in violation of subsection a. of this section and who fails to voluntarily deliver the substance to the nearest law enforcement officer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude a prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this title or any other statute.  This subsection shall not apply to possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants.

(cf: P.L.1997, c.181, s.6)

 

     2.    N.J.S.2C:36-2 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:36-2. Use or possession with intent to use[,] drug paraphernalia: disorderly persons offense, civil penalty, or lawful activity

     [It]  a.  Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical in violation of the provisions of chapter 35 of this title. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. 

     b.  (1)  A person who uses, or possesses with intent to use, drug paraphernalia for the personal use of one ounce (28.38 grams) or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, is not guilty of a crime or offense and such use, or possession with intent to use, is not unlawful.

     (2)  A person who uses, or possesses with intent to use, drug paraphernalia for the personal use of more than one ounce (28.38 grams) of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, but not exceeding 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, is not guilty of a crime or offense but is subject to a civil penalty as forth in section 4 of P.L.    , c.     (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill),

(cf: P.L.2007, c.31, s.3)

 

     3.    N.J.S.2B:12-17 is amended to read as follows:

     2B:12-17.  Jurisdiction of specified offenses.  A municipal court has jurisdiction over the following cases within the territorial jurisdiction of the court: 

     a.     Violations of county or municipal ordinances;

     b.    Violations of the motor vehicle and traffic laws;

     c.     Disorderly persons offenses, petty disorderly persons offenses and other non-indictable offenses except where exclusive jurisdiction is given to the Superior Court; 

     d.    Violations of the fish and game laws;

     e.     Proceedings to collect a penalty where jurisdiction is granted by statute;

     f.     Violations of laws regulating boating; [and]

     g.    Violations of section 4 of P.L.    , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill); and

     h.    Any other proceedings where jurisdiction is granted by statute.

(cf: P.L.1996, c.95, s.12)

 

     4.    (New section)  a.  Any person who possesses more than one ounce (28.38 grams) of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, but not exceeding 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, except as authorized by P.L.2009, c.307 (C.24:6I-1 et al.), shall be subject to a civil penalty of $50.

     b.    Any person who uses, or possesses with intent to use, drug paraphernalia, as defined in N.J.S.2C:36-1, for the personal use of more than one ounce (28.38 grams) of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, but not exceeding 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, shall be subject to a civil penalty of $50.

     c.     The penalty imposed by this section shall be collected pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.), in a summary proceeding before the municipal court having jurisdiction.  A penalty recovered under the provisions of this section shall be recovered by and in the name of the State by the local municipality.  The penalty shall be paid into the treasury of the municipality in which the violation occurred and shall be retained by the municipality for the general uses of the municipality.

 

     5.    This act shall be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at the next general election to be held at least 70 days following the date of its enactment for the purpose of complying with Article II, Section I, paragraph 2 of the New Jersey Constitution.

 

     6.    This voter referendum shall be submitted to the people in the following manner and form:

     There shall be printed on each official ballot to be used at the general election, the following:

     a.     In every municipality in which voting machines are not used, a legend which shall immediately precede the question as follows:

     If you favor the proposition printed below make a cross (X), plus (+), or check (a) in the square opposite the word "Yes." If you are opposed thereto make a cross (X), plus (+) or check (a) in the square opposite the word "No."

     b.    In every municipality the following question:

 

 

 

 

YES

 

LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA

   Do you approve a law enacted by the Legislature that legalizes the use of marijuana? The law also legalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.  This law will not take effect unless approved by the voters.

 

 

 

 

 

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT

 

NO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Currently, it is a criminal offense to use or possess marijuana.

   More specifically, it is a disorderly persons offense to use marijuana, or to possess 50 grams or less of marijuana.  It is a crime of the fourth degree to possess more than 50 grams of marijuana.

   This new law would legalize the use of marijuana. The law would also legalize the possession of one ounce (28.38 grams) or less of marijuana.

   For possession of more than one ounce (28.38 grams), but not exceeding 50 grams, of marijuana, the law would impose a civil penalty of $50. Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana would be a disorderly persons offense.

   The new law will not take effect unless it is approved by the voters.

 

 

 

 

     7.    This act shall take effect on the 90th day following voter approval at the designated general election.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would legalize the personal use of marijuana and the possession of one ounce (28.38 grams) or less of marijuana. 

     Currently, it is a disorderly persons offense to use marijuana, or to possess 50 grams or less of marijuana. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.  It is a crime of the fourth degree to possess more than 50 grams of marijuana. 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.

     Under the bill, the possession of marijuana in an amount larger than one ounce (28.38 grams) would be treated as follows:  (1) The possession of more than one ounce (28.38 grams) of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, but not exceeding 50 grams of marijuana,  including any adulterants or dilutants, would not be a criminal offense. Instead, the bill would impose a $50 civil penalty.  The penalty would be recovered by and in the name of the State by the local municipality, and be retained by the municipality for the general uses of the municipality. (2) The possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, would be downgraded from a crime of the fourth degree to a disorderly persons offense.

   The bill also legalizes the use, or possession with intent to use, drug paraphernalia for the personal use of one ounce (28.38 grams) or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants. Under the bill, a person who uses, or possesses with intent to use, drug paraphernalia for the personal use of more than one ounce (28.38 grams) of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, but not exceeding 50 grams of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, would not be guilty of a crime or offense but would be subject to the $50 civil penalty established by the bill.  Under current law, it is a disorderly persons offense to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance, controlled substance analog or toxic chemical in violation of the provisions of chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

     The bill would take effect only if approved by the voters in a Statewide referendum.  The referendum would be held at the next available general election, which in accordance with Article II, Section I, paragraph 2 of the New Jersey Constitution must be a general election held at least 70 days following the date of the bill's enactment.

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