Here’s an update from and for our friends in New Jersey.
The State Assembly amended a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana to also require $50 of all fines collected to fund drug education programs. People caught with 15 grams or less of marijuana would be subject to a $150 fine for a first violation, a $200 fine for a second violation, and a $500 fine for a third or subsequent violation, under the bill (A1465) the Assembly was expected to approve yesterday. But its sponsor, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, (D-Mercer), said based on the testimony during a hearing on the bill Monday, he wanted to make some of the suggested changes. The amended bill will get a full Assembly vote at the next voting session, he said.
The changed bill also included a provision allowing judges to order a drug evaluation for an offender arrested a third time for possession of pot, according to a statement Gusciora issued. “I am confident that with these amendments we will have a model decriminalization bill that realistically addresses persons charged with possession of marijuana,” he said. “Unfortunately under current penalties, the punishment does not fit the crime.”
I wish this wasn’t being called “decrim.” I carp about this all the time; you may remember. it falls short of legalization but it still sounds goodish. Legalization makes more sense.
We are following the story and will let you know as things develop. Original source material is here.
[image: Google images New Jersey]
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