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New Jersey General Assembly Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director June 25, 2012

    The New Jersey General Assembly this evening voted 44-30 in favor of Assembly Bill 1465, which removes criminal penalties for the possession of approximately one-half ounce of marijuana. Members of the state Assembly Judiciary Committee had previously approved the measure by a unanimous vote.

    Presently, the possession of this amount of marijuana carries a penalty of up to a $1000 fine and six months in jail. A conviction also results in a criminal record that cannot be expunged for at least five years, the loss of driving privileges, and other penalties.

    The measure now awaits action from the state Senate. If you reside in New Jersey, you can click here to contact your state Senator and urge them to support this important legislation.

    If the bill obtains Senate approval it will still face a major hurdle, as Governor Chris Christie publicly stated he intends to veto the bill should it reach his desk. (An override of the Governor’s veto would require 54 ‘yes’ votes in the Assembly and 27 ‘yes’ votes in the Senate.) It is unfortunate that the Republican Governor and former federal prosecutor refuses to listen to the will of the voters, as a November 2011 Eagleton poll found that 58 percent of New Jersey residents believe that penalties regarding the use of marijuana should be decreased and 55 percent of them believe that marijuana possession penalties ought to be be eliminated entirely.

    Just days earlier, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee enacted a similar marijuana decriminalization measure into law, amending pot possession penalties from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a non-arrestable civil offense — punishable by a $150 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record.

    Eight states – California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Oregon — similarly define the private, non-medical possession of marijuana by adults as a civil, non-criminal offense.

    Five additional states — Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio — treat marijuana possession offenses as a fine-only misdemeanor offense. Alaska imposes no criminal or civil penalty for the private possession of small amounts of marijuana.

    35 Responses to “New Jersey General Assembly Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Measure”

    1. […] 921 The New Jersey General Assembly this evening voted44-30 in favor of Assembly Bill 1465, which removes criminal penalties for the possession of approximately one-half ounce of marijuana. Members of the state Assembly Judiciary Committee had previouslyapproved the measure by a unanimous vote.Presently, the possession of this amount of marijuana carries a penalty of up to a $1000 fine and six months in jail. A conviction also results in a criminal record that cannot be expunged for at least five years. Read on. New Jersey General Assembly Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Measure | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law R… […]

    2. Paul Pot says:

      Gutless Lynch of New Hempshire couldn’t do it either, what a shame these guys didn’t have the spine to stand with the people and the other states. Over 50% support across America and 25 states, that’s half the US have either decriminalized or instituted medical marijuana. And we approach an election where one or more states may legalize. There’s still a lot of work to do yet but it’s past the tipping point now, this is the down hill run. There definitely ain’t no turning back. So why not stand with the states that have made a stand? The more there are, the stronger the case against federal intervention. Anyone who does not participate will not be part of the government that does reform and will not be remembered for any special reason. The drug war is about to end, you can’t stop it so why not go with it.
      The states united,
      will never be defeated.
      REFORMED STATES
      1. Alaska, medical, decriminalized
      2. Arizona, medical
      3. California, medical, decriminalized
      4. Colorado, medical, decriminalized
      5. Connecticut, medical, decriminalized
      6. D.C. medical
      7. Delaware, medical
      8. Hawaii, medical
      9. Maine, medical, decriminalized
      10. Massachusetts, decriminalized
      11. Michigan, medical
      12. Minnesota, decriminalized
      13. Mississippi, decriminalized
      14. Montana, medical
      15. Nebraska, decriminalized
      16. Nevada, medical, decriminalized
      17. New Jersey, medical
      18. New York, decriminalized
      19. New Mexico,medical
      20. North Carolina, decriminalized
      21. Oregon, medical, decriminalized
      22. Ohio, decriminalized
      23. Rhode Island, medical, decriminalized
      24. Vermont, medical
      25. Washington, medical

    3. Greyhound says:

      Governor Chris Christie needs to do what the people want, not what he wants personally.

    4. Bravo says:

      Good on ya Jersey!

    5. Ben says:

      It is a good start…

      It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the presidential candidates suddenly became a supporter of legalization…
      whether it was hyper-hypocrit Obama or the other guy… (I wonder what a Cuban blunt tastes like…)

    6. Craig says:

      Why is it that politicians go by what they want rather then what the masses that voted them into the power want? Blows my mind how simple minded some really are, more so with those with power.

    7. Galileo Galilei says:

      All the financial problems the country has and Christi still wants to waste money enforcing prohibition. Let the prohibitionists pay for their own damn war.

    8. Owen says:

      Of course Christie won’t cooperate. Too much money to be made by his mafia connections.

    9. Chris Christie says:

      This is a bitch move, I know. It’s repugnant to hypocritically suppress innocent non-violent offenders when I’m using the same argument to publicly defend my federally illegal sports gambling proposal, challenging the government to come after me. It inflates my ego and fulfills my bureaucratic, bought and paid for lobbyist agenda. I want to openly contradict my treatment over jailtime plan as well. One swift swipe of my pen will veto this legislation, because I am the voice of the real people. This is what you want and I’m your elected official. I will continue subscribing to the same tired arguments and plan to never evolve and listen to science, logic, demand, and rationale. Thanks for your votes New Jersey.

    10. Cpl Groth(usmc) says:

      To hear that Christie is being this way really sucks. I will be going back to Jersey in less than 2 months from the Marine Corps.i sustained an injury that marijuana would definitely help ease the pain. We need to not post on here and nip the problem in the butt towards the right people. Stop posting here send mail to Christie blue is fucking inbox up, make him think he had a trojan horse. Oh well guess I’ll be getting my weed in new york

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