New Jersey Lawmakers Approve Clean-Up Marijuana Bill To Resolve Governor’s Underage Concerns

A New Jersey Assembly committee on Friday approved a “clean up” bill intended to clear the way to implement the legalization of marijuana—the latest development on lawmakers’ rocky path to enact the cannabis referendum voters approved in November.

Enabling legislation to create a regulated market was introduced and passed by the legislature shortly after last year’s vote, but Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said after the fact that opposed the lack of penalties for underage possession. Lawmakers attempted to resolve that with an earlier bill to address the youth possession issue, but a floor vote was cancelled after key legislators pulled their support.

Now, it seems, there could be a new compromise.

Under the latest proposal, adults 18 to 20 would face a $50 fine for possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, and a $100 fine for more than that amount. Those under 18 would not not be subject to the civil penalty but would be given a warning.

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