New Jersey becomes 13th state to legalize marijuana

The three bills were in response to more than two-thirds voter support of a ballot question regarding marijuana legalization.

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed three bills into law on Monday that legalizes marijuana in the state. New Jersey is now the thirteenth state to pass such laws.

The bills will “allow the possession and use of marijuana by anyone over 21 years old within the state of New Jersey,” according to app.com. The three bills were in response to more than two-thirds voter support of a ballot question regarding marijuana legalization.

“New Jersey’s broken, indefensible marijuana laws—which permanently stained the records of many residents and short-circuited their futures, disproportionately hurt communities of color and failed the meaning of justice at every level, social or otherwise—are no more,” Murphy said. “In their place are laws that will usher in a new industry, based on equity, which will reinvest dollars into communities—laws which promote both public health by promoting safe cannabis products and public safety by allowing law enforcement to focus their resources on serious crimes.”

The bills also allow the purchase of weed from state-licensed dispensaries. But New Jersey joins Washington as a state that legalized weed, but won’t allow recreational home grow, including medical marijuana patients. Drug distribution and growing marijuana without a license will both remain criminal offenses.

Under the new laws, adult users “can have up to 6 ounces of weed on them without facing any penalty,” app.com reported. New Jersey now joins Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts on the East Coast to legalize marijuana.

“The failed War on Drugs has systematically targeted people of color and the poor, disproportionately impacting Black and brown communities and hurting families in New Jersey and across our nation,” U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, said in a statement. “Today is a historic day.”

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Ashley is an editor, social media content manager and writer at NationofChange. Before joining NoC, she was a features reporter at The Daily Breeze – a local newspaper in Southern California – writing a variety of stories on current topics including politics, the economy, human rights, the environment and the arts. Ashley is a transplant from the East Coast calling Los Angeles home.

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