Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed a bill on Thursday that reduces the criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of psilocybin mushrooms. Under the bill (S 3256), those convicted for possession of less than one ounce (about 28 grams) of magic mushrooms will face lighter punishments including less time in jail and lower fines.
Current New Jersey law classifies possession of psilocybin mushrooms as a third-degree crime carrying penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000. Under the legislation signed into law by Murphy on Thursday, possession of less than one ounce will be charged as a disorderly persons offense, with penalties including up to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
The new law goes into effect immediately. Democratic Sen. Nicholas Scutari of Union County, one of the sponsors of the bill, said that psilocybin mushrooms are “still an illegal product, but it’s not going to ruin lives for a first offense.”
“Obviously the governor recognizes our continued failed war on drugs,” Scutari said. “This was an old relic of the war on drugs; a felony conviction for simple possession of a mushroom.”
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