Philadelphia Criminal Law News

New Jersey Mayoral Candidate Busted for Selling Weed

An election season always brings out the scandals. Be it the "legitimate rape" statement or the Gennifer Flowers scandal, there will always be something that comes out about one of the people vying for office. And while Marion Barry rebounded from his issues, one local politician might not be so lucky.

Instead of merely possessing some drugs for his own use, Thomas Litwin, an independent candidate for mayor of Stafford Township, N.J., was caught allegedly trying to sell drugs to an undercover police officer, according to CBS 3. Litwin was caught with more than 50 grams (almost two ounces) of marijuana, some synthetic cannabinoids, and drug paraphernalia, police told the Asbury Park Press.

What if it was medical marijuana?

Under federal law it is illegal to possess marijuana in any amount. Possession of a small amount is usually labeled "simple" possession, while having larger amounts raises the presumption that you are possessing "with intent to distribute."

Under New Jersey Law, possessing up to 50 grams of marijuana can lead to up to six months of incarceration. However, distributing the same amount can get you three to five years and a possible fine of up to $25,000.

New Jersey does have a medical marijuana statute that allows patients to obtain up to two ounces of marijuana at a time if they get a written prescription from a doctor and register with the state. A doctor must give written instructions for each 30-day supply, and can only give future instructions for three months at a time.

Here, Candidate Litwin was allegedly trying to sell weed to an undercover officer. Even if he had been a registered medical marijuana patient, he would still be in violation of New Jersey drug law.

That is the problem with running for office: If you want to change the laws, you still have to stay out of jail long enough to get to a position where you might have a chance to do so. While Thomas Litwin was running for mayor, he should have left his alleged stash of weed for Snoop Lion.

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