Can Marijuana Be Smoked On South Jersey, NJ Beaches? The Answer Will Shock You!
It's legalized! WOOOO!
Yes...I am still celebrating.
But now that it is legalized, everyone has questions on what the rules will be in the Garden State.
Some of the first topics discussed were typical: What will the legal age be? How much can you buy? Where can you buy?
But an article on NJ.com, the question that I know I have thought of is being asked: Will you be allowed to smoke marijuana on our South Jersey beaches?
I'm personally surprised by the answer...it's basically a hard NO.
Here is why I'm surprised.
As a refresher, here are the three laws related to marijuana that Governor Phil Murphy just recently passed:
1. Legalize the weed industry
2. Abolish all penalties for anyone possessing 6 oz. or less.
3. Fines and arrests cannot be given to those who are younger than 21 and caught with marijuana or alcohol.
According to Law 2, one would think that as long as you have less than 6 ounces, you would be good to go, right?
And that is because, according to NJ.com, there is a part of the New Jersey law that, "still bans smoking, vaping and aerosolizing cannabis in public places. The New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act [also] prohibits smoking in workplaces, indoor areas and beaches."
BUT.. the rules regarding marijuana are pretty similar to cigarettes thus far.
Not to mention, Governor Murphy signed a law back in 2018 that would allow, "smoking at just 15% of beaches and in parking lots."
So in laments terms, smoking designated areas.
Now yes, the punishment is steep if you decide to ignore these smoking designated areas and light up a cigarette wherever you want. The first offense would result in $250 fine, the second is $500 and then $1,000 for each following offense.
But as long as you are inside of these smoking designated areas....what is the difference if someone is lighting up a joint, cigar or cigarette?
As long as it is less than 6 oz., shouldn't you be good to go?
Not to mention, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that law enforcement can't stop someone because they smell marijuana.
......then how would you catch anyone or enforce the rules you are trying to put into place?
Now these laws are still new so I am not surprised that there are some contradictions and loopholes but the stigma is changing.
I mean...have you ever smoked weed and then gone to the beach? It is quite relaxing I must say.
And no....I am not saying it should be okay for people to light up while sitting smack dab in the middle of a crowded beach near kids.
But I really don't see a problem with smoking designated areas just like the one we have for cigarettes. It's just weed, folks.
Do you agree? Thoughts?
Now stigmas do take time to be broken...but I am surprised at all the shore towns that have already said NO to marijuana.
This list may grow because towns have until August 21st of this year to decide if they will allow marijuana sales and consumption in their town.
Let's take a look but also keep in mind you can head to NJ.com for more on this topic.
P.S. Email me if I missed any at Nicole.Murray@townsquaremedia.com.