In 2008, New Jersey had over 40,000 drug arrests for the use and possession of drug, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy report. Cocaine and heroin are the most prevalent drugs in New Jersey.

A law created by the 1986 Congress made it so New Jersey must strictly enforce minimum penalties within its drug laws. This means a judge is forced to deliver a fixed punishment for drug crimes regardless of the case factors in New Jersey. The type of drug, quantity of drug, and prior offenses will have an effect on any penalties.

Possession of an illegal drug weighing 50g or less requires a 6 month prison term as well as a fine of $1000. Possession of more than 50g will require 18 months in jail and a $25,000 fee. If possession of an illegal drug takes place within 1000 feet of school property, the penalty imposes an additional minimum 100 hours of community service or more serve punishment depending on the quantity.

 

Penalties for Drug Possession in NJ

  • Marijuana Possession:Disorderly persons offense or indictable felony, punishable by 0–18 months incarceration and a fine of $500–$15,000
  • Cocaine / Crack Possession:Indictable felony, punishable by 3–5 years in prison and a fine of $1,000–$35,000
  • Heroin Possession:Indictable felony, punishable by 3–5 years in prison and a fine of $1,000–$35,000
  • Speed / Methamphetamine Possession:Indictable felony, punishable by 3–5 years in prison and a fine of $1,000–$35,000
  • Mushrooms / LCD Possession:Indictable felony, punishable by 3–5 years in prison and a fine of $1,000–$35,000

 

Cultivation Penalties in NJ

  • Less than 10 plants – 3 to 5 years imprisonment and $25,000 fine
  • 10 to 49 plants – 5 to 10 years imprisonment and $150,000 fine
  • Upwards of 50 plants – 10 to 20 years imprisonment and $300,000 fine

 

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 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) Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana, including any adulterants or dilutants, or five grams or less of hashish is a disorderly person.

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.

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, 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.