Governor Murphy is holding the entire New Jersey adult-use cannabis market hostage, demanding civil penalties for those under the age of 21 who are caught with cannabis.
Although voters overwhelmingly supported the development of an adult use cannabis industry, Murphy has refused to sign the current version of the legislation.
The current decriminalization bill on Murphy's desk eliminated all penalties for possession of up to 6 ounces of marijuana, including for those under 21 — the legal age to purchase it under the bill.
However, Murphy seems dead-set on keeping strict penalties for anyone under 21.
The rejiggered legislation now includes provisions that would charge those under 21 with a petty disorderly persons offense if they’re caught with less than 1 ounce of cannabis — i.e. drugs that were obtained through a regulated dispensary.
Under the bill, those aged 18 to 20 would face fines starting at $250 for possession of 1 ounce of cannabis, and at least $500 for more than an ounce.
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