New Jersey lawmakers made their first move yesterday in a plan to fully legalize recreational cannabis in 2018. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday, legislators heard from cannabis advocates and detractors alike about a plan that could see cannabis legalized in the Garden State in as soon as six months.
According to NJ.com, Senate Bill 3195, introduced by Democratic Senator Nicholas Scutari, would create a Division of Marijuana Enforcement in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office tasked with crafting regulations for a retail sales system. If passed, the bill would immediately decriminalize possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis and create a system for residents to expunge previous cannabis convictions.
Legalization has majority support from New Jersey residents, but lawmakers won’t rush into a vote. Instead, Scutari will wait at least six months, until the state’s Gubernatorial election is over and notorious cannabis opponent Chris Christie is out of office.
“Now is the time to begin shaping New Jersey’s recreational marijuana program,” Scutari said. “We will have a new governor next year and we should be prepared to move forward with a…