Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation into law on Monday which makes the usage and possession of recreational marijuana in the state legal.
The bill signed by Murphy legalizes and regulates the recreational usage and possession of marijuana for adults who are 21 years of age or older, in addition to decriminalizing the possession of marijuana and hashish, The Hill reported.
New Jersey’s broken & indefensible marijuana laws are no more.
Today, I signed historic legislation to:
✅Legalize adult-use cannabis
✅Decriminalize marijuana possession in small amounts
✅Limit the use of previous marijuana convictions
✅Create a regulated cannabis marketplace pic.twitter.com/Y2pCKSgcn5
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 22, 2021
“Our current marijuana prohibition laws have failed every test of social justice, which is why for years I’ve strongly supported the legalization of adult-use cannabis,” Murphy said in a statement released by his office.
“Maintaining a status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately people of color, to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible,” the statement continued. (RELATED: New Jersey Governor Signs Bill Making It A Crime To Intimidate People Of Color By Calling 911)
“This November, New Jerseyans voted overwhelmingly in support of creating a well-regulated adult-use cannabis market. Although this process has taken longer than anticipated, I believe it is ending in the right place and will ultimately serve as a national model.”
In the Nov. 3 election, people in New Jersey voted in favor of amending legislation that would legalize the usage and possession of marijuana.
“The failed War on Drugs has systemically targeted people of color and the poor, disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities and hurting families in New Jersey and across our nation,” Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said in the statement from Murphy’s office.
“Today is a historic day, and I applaud Governor Murphy, the legislature, and the many advocates for racial and social justice whose leadership is ensuring that New Jersey is at the forefront of equitable marijuana legalization policy,” Sen. Booker continued.
Marijuana will now be legal in NJ.
We’re one step closer to ending this unjust, failed war on drugs that has systematically targeted Black & Brown people & the poor across our state & nation.
Grateful for @GovMurphy, NJ leadership & advocates who fought so hard for this day. https://t.co/nJprUIYq9s
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) February 22, 2021
This move by Murphy to legalize and regulate marijuana makes New Jersey the thirteenth state to legalize marijuana usage completely, Asbury Park Press reported.
Previously, New Jersey amended a bill in Nov. 2020 to decrease the penalties for hallucinogenic mushroom usage. The bill was then signed into law by Murphy in early Feb. 2021, according to the New Jersey Globe.