Lawmakers in New Jersey late last week moved forward on legislation designed to clear up penalties for underage cannabis use.
Characterized as a “cleanup bill,” the legislation “would revise the consequences associated with the underage possession or consumption of illegal marijuana or hashish, or legalized cannabis items which may only be lawfully possessed by persons 21 years of age or older,” after the first attempt at a compromise bill unraveled earlier this month.
That previous bill, according to NJ.com, “fell apart when Black lawmakers came together in opposition, arguing that the penalties it set forth for those under 21 would disproportionately affect Black and Brown youth,” although the follow-up legislation that was introduced last week “is not so different from that prior attempt.”
“The main change on penalties is the lowering of fines those 18 to 20 could face for possessing marijuana,” NJ.com reported.
As for the new bill’s prospects, NJ.com said this: “If the full Legislature passed the cleanup bill, [New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy] could sign it and the two other bills legalizing (S21) and decriminalizing (S2535) marijuana into law together. He has said he cannot sign the other two as is, citing conflicting language that both legalizes