You Can Still Get Arrested – Even with a MMJ Card!
What’s your guess as to how many New Jersey residents have an MMJ card? The answer might surprise you, as there are only about 15,000 patients registered for New Jersey’s medical marijuana program. Now that more conditions have increased eligibility, there’s a chance the number could grow. Meanwhile, some might just wait around until cannabis is available for recreational use.
There are many typical as well as uncommon stories when it comes to medical marijuana use. For example, cannabis has been quite helpful for children suffering from epilepsy. Cancer patients benefit from smoking weed, as do those suffering from Crohn’s Disease.
With all that said, some important regulations apply to medical marijuana use. You already know that you could be arrested for DUI for impairment related to medical cannabis. However, there are other reasons you can find yourself in trouble as well.
MMJ Card Holders: Stay Out of Trouble
As just about everybody knows, marijuana is not legal throughout the United States….medical or not. In fact, federal laws actually prohibit cannabis use of any kind. For now, that doesn’t mean that the FBI is going to necessarily show up on your front door and charge you with possession.
That said, the only time you can legally use medical marijuana is in the state where your card is issued. Maybe you traveled to Colorado or California and legally bought cannabis there for your medical condition. You should know that by transporting pot across state lines, you can find yourself in trouble.
It works the reverse way as well. You have a New Jersey MMJ card, and you plan a getaway to Pennsylvania. You bring along the cannabis that you legally purchased from one of New Jersey’s five medical marijuana dispensaries. After all, this is the medication that works for your particular condition. Why shouldn’t you have it at your disposal?
You are surprised when the police show up at your hotel room door. While it’s true that you just smoked a joint, you have nothing to hide and are not concerned. You are ready to explain that you are an MMJ patient and even produce your card. However, the smell of cannabis is cause for concern and the police initiate a search. You are arrested for possession. Your MMJ card means absolutely nothing outside New Jersey.
Smoking Medical Cannabis Confined to Certain Locations
If you smoke medical cannabis, you must follow the law as it applies to smoking cigarettes or cigars. The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act is found at N.J.S.A. 26:3D-57. This means you cannot smoke medical marijuana inside buildings or restaurants.
Additionally, the State of New Jersey supplies further details concerning where smoking medical marijuana is disallowed, including:
- On a school bus or public form of transportation.
- In a private vehicle unless the vehicle is not in operation.
- On any school grounds, in any correctional facility, at any public park or beach, at any recreation center.
- Any area pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:33-13, which covers a variety of public locations.
The law also says that MMJ patients may not “operate, navigate, or be in control of any vehicle, aircraft, railroad train, or stationary heavy equipment vessel while under the influence of marijuana.” However, if you are in an unmoved vehicle using medical cannabis, an argument may be made that you were not disobeying the law.
Medical Marijuana is a Prescription
When you receive medical marijuana from a New Jersey dispensary, it is labeled with your personal information. You should consider this the same as keeping pills in the vial they come in when you fill a prescription. If you do not hold the cannabis in its original container, you could face legal questions.
Are you an MMJ cardholder facing legal issues? At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have a great deal of experience helping those concerned with criminal charges. Contact our office to set up a meeting at your earliest convenience. There is no cost to meet with us!