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Marijuana Is Officially Legal in New Jersey

Marijuana Is Officially Legal in New Jersey . On Monday, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation legalizing marijuana use in New Jersey. . It legalized the adult-use of recreational marijuana and possession of up to 6 ounces of cannabis. . It also created a regulated marketplace for the sale of marijuana and restructured penalties for underage use. . Murphy’s approval of legalization in the state was initially derailed by the question of how to handle minors in possession of marijuana. . State lawmakers initially proposed more severe penalties but Murphy resisted, as low-level offenses disproportionally affect people of color in the state. . A 2020 analysis of arrest statistics found that Black people in New Jersey were arrested nearly three-and-a-half times more often than white people for marijuana. Maintaining a status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately people of color, to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible, Governor Phil Murphy, via statement. Lawmakers relented hours before Murphy’s deadline to sign the legislation. Underage marijuana use will be treated similarly to underage alcohol use through an escalating set of sanctions. Penalties for underage use will begin with a written warning and end with a referral to substance abuse counseling. Today, we’re taking a monumental step forward to reduce racial disparities in our criminal justice system, while building a promising new industry and standing on the right side of history, Governor Phil Murphy, via statement

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