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New Jersey lawmakers hold key vote to legalize recreational marijuana

NEW JERSEY — New Jersey is inching closer to legalizing recreational marijuana—while taking up additional issues to make the garden state friendlier to this green wave. A package of bills are headed for legislative committee in New Jersey to make weed legal—it would be the 11 state in the nation to do so.

The bill could be voted in as early as Dec., though how much a person can have, how it will be taxed as well as expanding guidelines for medicinal marijuana, are all expected to be addressed.

The proposals are expected to include: adults 21 and over be allowed to use an ounce of recreational marijuana, it would be taxed at 12 percent and there would also be a bill to expedite expungement of prior marijuana convictions.

Additionally, medicinal marijuana laws would be revised, increasing the monthly allotment to three ounces per person and would include edibles.

Under Gov. Phil Murphy’s tenure, the number of people certified for medicinal marijuana has doubled to 30,000. The governor has already bumped up the number of dispensaries for medicinals by adding licenses for another six.

Additionally, smoking lounges would be added to the recreational retail locations and home delivery would also be allowed.

The state has seen some objection to the bills—40 municipalities have laws on the books banning or restricting it.

"I'm all for the possession of an ounce... I'm not for smoking it publicly," a New Jersey resident said. "I don't like it, it's not for me... but we have people drinking alcohol and that ruins a lot more lives than marijuana."

A committee hearing and expected vote will send it to lawmakers likely next month.

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