a. Any person who manufactures, distributes or dispenses methamphetamine, lysergic acid diethylamide, phencyclidine or any other controlled dangerous substance classified in Schedules I or II, or any controlled substance analog thereof, in violation of subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:35-5, is strictly liable for a death which results from the injection, inhalation or ingestion of that substance, and is guilty of a crime of the first degree.

b. The provisions of N.J.S. 2C:2-3 (governing the causal relationship between conduct and result) shall not apply in a prosecution under this section. For purposes of this offense, the defendant‘s act of manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a substance is the cause of a death when:

Terms Used In New Jersey Statutes 2C:35-9

  • Controlled dangerous substance: means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through V, any substance the distribution of which is specifically prohibited in N. See New Jersey Statutes 2C:35-2
  • Controlled substance analog: means a substance that has a chemical structure substantially similar to that of a controlled dangerous substance and that was specifically designed to produce an effect substantially similar to that of a controlled dangerous substance. See New Jersey Statutes 2C:35-2
  • Dispense: means to deliver a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog to an ultimate user or research subject by or pursuant to the lawful order of a practitioner, including the prescribing, administering, packaging, labeling, or compounding necessary to prepare the substance for that delivery. See New Jersey Statutes 2C:35-2
  • Distribute: means to deliver other than by administering or dispensing a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog. See New Jersey Statutes 2C:35-2
  • Manufacture: means the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog, either directly or by extraction from substances of natural origin, or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container, except that this term does not include the preparation or compounding of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog by an individual for his own use or the preparation, compounding, packaging, or labeling of a controlled dangerous substance: (1) by a practitioner as an incident to his administering or dispensing of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog in the course of his professional practice, or (2) by a practitioner (or under his supervision) for the purpose of, or as an incident to, research, teaching, or chemical analysis and not for sale. See New Jersey Statutes 2C:35-2
  • Person: means any corporation, association, partnership, trust, other institution or entity, or one or more individuals. See New Jersey Statutes 2C:35-2
  • Production: includes the manufacture, planting, cultivation, growing, or harvesting of a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog. See New Jersey Statutes 2C:35-2


(1) The injection, inhalation or ingestion of the substance is an antecedent but for which the death would not have occurred; and

(2) The death was not:

(a) too remote in its occurrence as to have a just bearing on the defendant’s liability; or

(b) too dependent upon conduct of another person which was unrelated to the injection, inhalation or ingestion of the substance or its effect as to have a just bearing on the defendant’s liability.

c. It shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this section that the decedent contributed to his own death by his purposeful, knowing, reckless or negligent injection, inhalation or ingestion of the substance, or by his consenting to the administration of the substance by another.

d. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or limit any prosecution for homicide. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:1-8 or any other provision of law, a conviction arising under this section shall not merge with a conviction for leader of narcotics trafficking network, maintaining or operating a controlled dangerous substance production facility, or for unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, dispensing or possessing with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense the controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog which resulted in the death.

L. 1987, c. 106, s. 1.