NJ Politics Digest: New Jersey Ready to Move on Legalizing Marijuana

Marijuana on a scale at Virgil Grant's dispensary in Los Angeles, California.

Marijuana on a scale at Virgil Grant’s dispensary in Los Angeles, California. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s taken nearly a year, but Democrats in New Jersey are finally ready to move on measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the state.

On Wednesday, lawmakers unveiled a package of bills they hope to begin voting on in the coming week that will allow for the use and taxation of recreational marijuana, as well as bills expanding the state’s medical marijuana program and expunging drug-related violations from people’s criminal records, according to reports.

It’s not a done deal yet. Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders still have to agree on how the state will tax recreational marijuana and other details of the proposal. And, even if recreational marijuana use is legalized in New Jersey, almost 40 towns in the state have already banned the sale of it within their borders, the Record reports.

The proposal to legalize marijuana would allow adults 21 or over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or its equivalent. Use of marijuana, however, would be limited similar to the way tobacoo use is now controlled. Home cultivation of marijuana would be banned.

The plan calls for the drug to be taxed at 12 percent and would allow municipalities to add on another 2 percent tax. That’s about half the 25% sought by Murphy.

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NJ Politics Digest: New Jersey Ready to Move on Legalizing Marijuana