New Jersey famously legalized cannabis this past election, but the clock is ticking, and there is still no formal consensus on how to get the ball rolling with legalization and set up a fully legal industry. Now, following many setbacks, the governor and state senate are finally close to reaching an agreement.
This agreement, once finalized, would get rid of the criminal charges tied to underage cannabis possession, something that Governor Phil Murphy has emphasized is a matter of great importance to him before he signs off on legalization. Murphy was concerned that the language of the bill that landed on his desk was too lenient on minors, perhaps even encouraging underage drug use. Now, the senate wants to meet him halfway by ensuring that there are penalties for legal adults who underage, but not for minors.
While nothing is final yet in this negotiation, it is likely that the deal will entirely get rid of all penalties for anyone under 18 years old, meaning that there is no way a cannabis charge under the age of 18 can permanently impact a record. There will be fines for those between the ages of 18 and 21.
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