New Jersey made a huge change with new legislation regarding the use of marijuana. Yet there is still a slight haze about what’s what.
But with the help of the online news publication New Jersey Spotlight, let’s clear the air about what’s what:
According to NJ Spotlight, Legalization (A-21) does the following:
• Permits adults 21 and over to possess up to 6 ounces;
• Establishes the Cannabis Regulatory Commission to regulate a new, legal industry, and issue six types of licenses: cultivation, processing, wholesale, distribution, retail and delivery;
• Directs (but does not guarantee) that 70 percent of the state sales tax revenue from purchases and all of an excise fee on growers go to certain minority communities disproportionately impacted by the drug war;
• Limits the number of growers to 37 for the first two years, but does not limit retail outlets;
• Prohibits all home growing;
• Establishes a 7 percent sales tax and a municipal tax of up to 2 percent when sales begin. Includes a sliding tax to for growers — from $10 an ounce up to $60 an ounce as the price of marijuana falls over time.
• Permits the sale of certain edible products that cannot be mistaken by children as candy.
Then the newly passed decriminalization law (A-1897):
• Removes criminal and civil penalties for possession of up to 6 ounces for adults 21 and over;
• Treats the distribution of 1 ounce or less with a written warning for a first offense. Subsequent incidents would be fourth degree offenses.
And, finally, the underage penalties (S-3454):
* Removes criminal penalties for marijuana and alcohol possession by anyone under 21 years old;
• Mandates a three-tiered warning system for underage alcohol or marijuana use and possession; on the first offense, the person would be issued a written warning; on the second offense, the person’s parents or guardians would be notified and provided information about community services or groups offering education on substance use; on a third or subsequent offense, the person would be referred to those community services or groups.
• Requires police have their body cameras enabled during interactions, which must be reviewed by the state attorney general.
• Lessens the criteria of criminal liability for police officers who conduct illegal marijuana searches. Bars the odor of marijuana as cause for a search.
More on Falcons
Master Falconer Hugh Pribell, the subject of the February 10 U.S. 1 cover story on falconry in New Jersey, responded to the story with two points.
The first was to correct the spelling of the name of mentor, Princeton area Master Falconer Chris Browne (we missed the “e”).
He then added, “She has been a great teacher for me and others in Falconry, and has allowed me to be part of a very special group of people, all who are similarly minded in our awareness and importance of conserving and maintaining the quality of our environment and protecting our state’s wildlife and the habitats that they live in.
“The other point that might need clarification is that once you’ve jumped through the required hoops and have apprenticed for two years, and obtained your permit to trap, you are a General Class falconer.
“After that and at least five years of flying and properly managing your bird, and until you’ve shown all of the qualities necessary, gained many of the important experiences required to keep and maintain a healthy bird, you would have your sponsor request to the state to be upgraded to Master Class. It is a long process and not everyone makes it.”