Marijuana laws across the country are trending towards greater openness and tolerance, in some cases even legalizing the substance for recreational use. It's still against the law in this state, however, so New Jersey residents facing drug charges associated with marijuana use need to take the matter seriously.
For example, one New Jersey man in his early twenties was arrested outside a Fort Lee courthouse when a police officer said he walked past him and smelled marijuana. The police said they found a half-smoked joint on the man and arrested him on charges of drug possession. According to police, the man told them that he was in the courthouse that day because he was facing charges stemming from another marijuana-related arrest. Police said the man told them he had stepped outside to smoke the joint during a court recess and was stepping back inside before court resumed.
While some states in recent years have begun to legalize or loosen restrictions on marijuana, New Jersey is not among them. Those found in possession of the drug can face state-level or even federal charges. The penalties for a conviction on drug possession charges are much lower than for other drug crimes, especially when they involve small amounts of the drug. However, these penalties are nothing to scoff at either.
All New Jersey residents who are charged with a drug crime are entitled to a defense, and it's a good idea for them to build the best defense strategy they can under the circumstances. A skilled attorney with experience in criminal defense can help them to identify the course of action that will work best for their unique case.
Source: New York Daily News, "NJ man facing marijuana charge caught smoking pot outside courthouse: cops," Thomas Tracy, Dec. 6, 2013