The proposed law would also allow New Jersey residents with prior pot possession arrests to apply for record expungement.
A New Jersey State Assemblyman on Thursday introduced a bold, cannabis-friendly bill that would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in the Garden State.
The proposed law – A4193 – would legalize marijuana and “provide for records expungement” for certain past marijuana offenses. In addition, the bill would make it possible for New Jersey retailers to sell cannabis products similar to tobacco products, including at local convenience stores.
“This bill would legalize marijuana by removing all criminal liability associated with marijuana from the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice, Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, as well as its regulation as a controlled dangerous substance under the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act,” the bill reads.
According to the bill, the manufacturing, distribution, possession and use of medical marijuana would remain subject to the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.
Marijuana users with prior criminal convictions for possession, use or being under the influence of marijuana, or “failure to make lawful disposition of marijuana” would be eligible to have their convictions expunged in an “expedited process” via Superior Court.
The law would take effect on the “first day of January that is more than 180 days following enactment.” The New Jersey Attorney General, Commissioner of Health and other state department heads would be permitted to take any anticipatory administrative action in advance of the effective date as necessary for the implementation of the act.
The bill was referred to NJ Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
JUST LIKE CIGARETTES
The bill aims to treat marijuana sales similar to cigarettes or other tobacco products, with sales prohibited to persons under 19-years-old.
Other ways in which the bill would treat legal marijuana similarly to cigarettes and other tobacco products include:
- Prohibiting marijuana smoking in various indoor or public places pursuant to the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act
- Prohibiting industrial manufacturing of marijuana for an employer in a home setting
- Prohibiting advertisements for marijuana on the exterior sides of school buses owned or leased by a school district
- Requiring instructional programs in schools on the physiological, psychological, and sociological effects of marijuana on the individual, family and society
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