Could this be the week New Jersey finally gets legal weed, more than three months after voters first approved it?
Legislators plan to pass a bill this week detailing the penalties and fines faced by marijuana users under 21 years old. This “cleanup” bill is seen as the last hurdle before Gov. Phil Murphy signs into law the full package of marijuana legislation, which would essentially put into action the ballot and constitutional amendment approved by voters in November.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday is expected to vote on the most recent version of the cleanup bill, which would levy $50 fines on anyone 18 to 21 years old, and a series of escalating written warnings — as well as parent notification and referral to community groups for substance abuse education — for minors found with marijuana.
Previous versions of the bill called for fines of up to $500 for underage marijuana users.
At a Monday hearing on the cleanup bill, numerous speakers told legislators that the laws regarding underage use of marijuana should be treated similar to cigarettes — namely, teaching the child about drug use and punishing only the person who provided the product to them. [Read more at Asbury Park Press]