In July of 2021, New Jersey adopted new cannabis laws. The intention was to decriminalize marijuana, but more importantly, expunge the records of millions of New Jerseyans who had been charged with marijuana-related offenses. Since the laws have been put into effect, and in conjunction with other cannabis laws New Jersey has been rolling out over the past months, thousands of criminal records in New Jersey have been minimized, if not completely resolved.
In the eyes of the law, “you do not have to report [a marijuana-related offense] on a job application, housing application, or college application. The [charge] has been removed from the public record and cannot be used to keep you from school, housing, or most jobs,” according to the New Jersey Courts.
As of today, the law reads:
“The Marijuana Decriminalization Law, L. 2021, c. 19, codified in relevant part at N.J.S.A. 2C:35-23.l and N.J.S.A. 2C:52-6.l, provides for the dismissal, vacating, and expungement of certain marijuana and hashish cases involving specified offenses as defined in that legislation. The Administrative Office of the Courts has determined that approximately 360,000 cases in the Superior Court (Criminal and Family) and the Municipal Courts potentially fall within that statutory direction.”
According to the courts, “The courts have expunged other marijuana and hashish cases as well. If the case included only one of the above offenses AND any of the below offenses, it was expunged:
- N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2 - Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(b)- Use or Being Under Influence of Controlled, Dangerous Substance
- N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10(c)- Failure to Make Lawful Disposition of Controlled, Dangerous Substance”
If you or anyone you know has a marijuana offense on their record, they can verify the status of the criminal charge here through the New Jersey Courts system.