Will New Jersey Legalize Recreational Marijuana? Lawmakers Consider Legislation - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Will New Jersey Legalize Recreational Marijuana? Lawmakers Consider Legislation

If approved, the legislation would move to the floor of each chamber. A voting session is scheduled for later this month.

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    Will NJ Legalize Recreational Marijuana?

    Marijuana is one step closer to becoming legal in New Jersey. On Monday a panel gave the go-ahead to a bill that would regulate, tax and legalize the drug.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 26, 2018)

    What to Know

    • New Jersey legislators advanced a measure to legalize recreational cannabis.

    • A joint Democrat-led Assembly and Senate committee on Monday voted to send the legislation for a floor vote.

    • The legislation legalizes an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over, sets up a five-person cannabis commission and taxes cannabis at 12%.

    New Jersey lawmakers advanced a measure Monday to legalize cannabis after a roughly four-hour hearing that included dozens of opponents and proponents.

    Lawmakers estimated that the Democrat-led joint Assembly and Senate panel heard from around 90 people, including police, ministers, health experts and former Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy, on marijuana legalization before a standing-room-only crowd.

    If approved, the legislation would move to the floor of each chamber. A voting session is scheduled for later this month.

    New Jersey would join 10 other states and the District of Columbia if it legalizes recreational cannabis. New Jersey lawmakers have held previous hearings on legalization, but Monday’s was the first that resulted with legislators voting to advance the legislation.

    New Jersey Is Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

    [PHI] New Jersey Is Closer to Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

    Lawmakers in New Jersey have advanced a bill that would make New Jersey the next state to legalize recerational marijuana.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018)

    The sweeping, 147-page measure legalizes an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over, sets up a five-person, cannabis commission and taxes cannabis at 12 percent.

    Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has been a vocal proponent of legalization.

    Yet the process has until now stalled in the Legislature, where lawmakers say setting up a new industry takes time, and securing votes poses hurdles.

    Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari sponsored the legislation says it will boost the economy by resulting in new businesses and grow the state’s perennially strapped revenues through taxes.

    He hailed it for setting up “an entire new business opportunity and entire new industry.”

    The first-term governor regularly cites “social justice” and disparate arrest rates for black residents as the primary cause for his support, but opponents raised concerns that legalization would not give enough of a boost to black communities. Democratic state Sen. Ron Rice called for a racial impact statement.

    NJ Lawmakers Discuss Legislation to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

    [PHI] NJ Lawmakers Discuss Legislation to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

    On Monday legislators advanced a measure to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey. The bill would legalize an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over. Right now 10 states and Washington, DC, have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Meanwhile, 33 states allow medical marijuana, including Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 26, 2018)

    “This bill is being sold under the auspices of social justice but it’s really about money,” he said.

    The measure calls for at least 15 percent of the licenses to cannabis establishments go to “minority owned businesses.”

    A heated exchange unfolded after Kennedy, a current state resident and former Rhode Island congressman and the son of Ted Kennedy, warned that legalization would lead to the increased power of the “marijuana lobby” because of a built-in profit motive. He compared it to alcohol.

    NJ Lawmakers Look Into Legalization of Recreational Pot

    [PHI] New Jersey Lawmakers to Look Into Legalization of Recreational Marijuana.

    New Jersey lawmakers will consider a plan Monday to let voters approve how the state draws its legislative district. Lawmakers will also decide whether to move forward with a bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 26, 2018)

    “You haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to the power of the marijuana lobby,” he said.

    Scutari then asked whether he supported alcohol prohibition, which led Kennedy to say the lawmaker was showing off for reporters.

    The legislation’s 12 percent excise tax includes the 6.625 percent sales tax. The draft also allows towns and cities to apply for up to a 2 percent tax on cannabis. That’s a change from an earlier proposal to phase in a higher rate over five years from 7 percent to 25 percent.

    The legislation also calls for expediting expungements for people with marijuana-related criminal backgrounds.

    The a five-person cannabis commission would regulate the substance and industry, with members working be full time and getting a $125,000 per year salary, while the chairman would get up to $141,000 annually.

    The members would serve for five-year terms and would be appointed by the governor, with approval from the state Senate. Two members would be appointed on the recommendation of the Senate president and Assembly speaker.

    Murphy said at an unrelated news conference that he was happy the bill was advancing but declined to specify whether he supported it.