Pennsylvanians with a medical marijuana card have been able to buy and consume weed legally for years, and now New Jersey has legalized recreational marijuana for all adults in the state.
But if you don’t have a PA medical card, you might be looking longingly across the border where flower-friendly folks can buy their weed in peace.
Well, the good news is that you can still buy and consume weed in New Jersey.
Who can buy and consume marijuana in New Jersey?
As long as you are over 21 years old, are in the state of New Jersey, and buy marijuana from an approved dispensary — you can consume all the weed you want in the state of New Jersey.
Keep in mind, that there are limits to how much you can buy and where you can smoke it, but you can cross the bridge and get legal weed in New Jersey if you want.
For consuming weed, you need to be on private property or in a designated consumption section of a dispensary (if they have one). So, at the least, make sure you have a friend or family residence in New Jersey that you can go to for consuming marijuana.
Can I bring legal weed bought in New Jersey back to Pennsylvania?
No. It’s against federal law to cross state lines with a controlled substance. According to federal law, cannabis is still a Schedule I controlled substance, and traveling with (or “trafficking”) federally controlled substances is still a major crime.
New Jersey’s cannabis laws only apply to you when you’re inside the state of New Jersey. Everywhere else, you have to follow that state’s laws — which in Pennsylvania it’s still illegal to possess cannabis.
Additionally, Philadelphia law enforcement agencies advise residents not to travel across state lines with legal New Jersey weed, despite marijuana being decriminalized in the city. Technically, a crime has to have been committed in order to get the marijuana to Philly.
Can I buy and consume weed in New Jersey and then travel back to Philly?
Yes. As long as you are not driving back while stoned or have any marijuana or paraphernalia in your possession when you come back across state lines. Paraphernalia is considered anything that can be used to cultivate or consume marijuana — that covers a lot, including pipes, bowls, and your rolling papers. Try not to bring any of that back with you.
Although it’s rare, you also don’t want to be caught intoxicated if you’re taking public transit because you can be charged with public intoxication in Pennsylvania (in New Jersey you can’t). However, in Pennsylvania, you won’t be arrested for public intoxication unless you pose a danger to yourself, others or property. If you are arrested for public intoxication, it’s a misdemeanor offense that comes with a fine of up to $500.
If you follow those rules, then you won’t be breaking any laws when coming back to Philly. To be careful, you should have a person who is sober and can drive you back to Philadelphia pick you up — and make sure there’s no weed or pipes in the car with you.