New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders said Tuesday they’ve agreed on laws to legalize recreational marijuana for adults.
It’s unclear whether there are enough votes in the Democrat-controlled Legislature to pass the bill, however, the agreement marks the first time leaders have set out the facts of the program. Tuesday’s announcement came only after saying emerged that pioneers have been homing in on a bargain.
Murphy, who campaigned in 2017 on legalizing recreational cannabis, cast the legislation as a social justice victory.
“Legalizing adult-use marijuana is a massive step to decreasing disparities within our criminal justice system,” Murphy explained.
In the event the deal goes law, New Jersey would join 10 other states and the District of Columbia using authorized recreational cannabis.
The leaders say the deal could put up an expedited record expungement process for individuals convicted of non invasive marijuana offenses. They say the proposal also would bar certain marijuana crimes from being considered in some specific sectors, like education, housing and job licensing.
The measure aims at getting cannabis industry involvement for minorities and girls, the leaders said.
Unlike earlier versions of the legislation which called for phasing in a sales tax on marijuana, the deal calls for a $42 per ounce tax upon the product.
Additionally, it lets towns collect tax earnings, also. Municipalities using cannabis retailers could collect a 3 percentage tax, those with cultivators will collect a 2 percentage and people with wholesalers would get 1%.
The measure requires a five-member regulatory commission, together with the governor appointing three associates. The other two could be picked on the help of the Senate president and Assembly speaker.
Many Republicans have been doubtful about legalization. Republican state Sen. Gerald Cardinale echoed former GOP Gov. Chris Christie’s complaint of abusing marijuana, predicting that while the state’s tax revenues will climb so too would traffic injuries.
“That blood money he’s likely to collect in taxes which is blood money. It will come in the blood of folks who do not use marijuana who regrettably are involved with those who perform.”
Sweeney has said he’d require Murphy’s help in getting enough votes from the Senate for legalization. The Meeting is anticipating a committee vote on the agreement on Monday. A floor vote will be potential March 25.