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Will NJ decriminalize marijuana ahead of legal weed vote? New bill has $25 fine for pot

Mike Davis | June 15, 2020 | Asbury Park Press |


Even though a vote to legalize weed in New Jersey is still months away, the Legislature is considering a bill to decriminalize marijuana that would make a pot bust cheaper than a traffic ticket.

The decriminalization bill, introduced by state Sens. Teresa Ruiz, Sandra Cunningham and Ronald Rice, represents a move clamored for by activists, who say the state needs to decriminalize the drug while it awaits the results of a marijuana legalization ballot question in November.

“While we await voter approval of legalization, we cannot forget about those arrested and incarcerated every day on marijuana-related charges,” said Ruiz, D-Essex, in a statement. “By decriminalizing certain marijuana offenses, we can prevent countless unnecessary arrests and the attendant legal consequences over the next seven months.”

Marijuana legalization advocates have been clamoring for decriminalization for over a year, since the push to legalize weed through the legislative process fell apart.


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