New Jersey Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Ahead Of Broader Legalization Referendum

New Jersey Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Ahead Of Broader Legalization Referendum

In the lead up to a statewide referendum on marijuana legalization in New Jersey, lawmakers have filed a new, more incremental bill, that would make it so people are no longer subject to jail time or criminal penalties for low-level cannabis offenses in the meantime. Under the legislation, those caught for the first time in possession of or distributing up to a pound of marijuana would instead be subject to a written warning, with subsequent offenses carrying community service or a civil fine of $25. The bill was introduced on Thursday, the tenth consecutive day of nationwide protests against police violence following the killing of George Floyd. All three of the lawmakers sponsoring the measure urged it be passed in light of the drug war’s disproportionate impact on people of color. “The War on Drugs has ravaged communities of color for too long. While we await voter approval of legalization, we cannot forget about those arrested and incarcerated every day on marijuana-related charges,” Sen. M. Theresa Ruiz (D), who serves as the body’s president pro tem, said. “By decriminalizing certain marijuana offenses, we can prevent countless unnecessary arrests and the attendant legal consequences over the next seven months.” The measure, S2535, would also set up what lawmakers called “a new form of ‘virtual’ expungement,” which would automatically deem certain marijuana-related convictions not to have occurred, an act they said will remove the need for people to petition a court for an expungement. All records relating to unlawful possession or distribution…

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Source : MJ moment
Link to original : New Jersey Lawmakers File Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Ahead Of Broader Legalization Referendum
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