The New Jersey Assembly Community Development and Affairs Committee voted 4-2 on Jan. 29 to advance a new adult-use compromise bill, according to an NJ.com report.
The legislation is lawmakers’ second attempt to pass an adult-use implementation bill that Gov. Phil Murphy will sign into law, the news outlet reported.
Murphy refused to sign an earlier version of adult-use legislation until lawmakers added penalties for underage cannabis use, but that attempt at a “cleanup bill” fell apart when Black lawmakers voiced opposition to the proposal, arguing that the penalties outlined in the legislation would disproportionately impact minorities, according to NJ.com.
While the first version of the bill would have imposed a fine of at least $250 for those ages 18 to 20 who possess up to 6 ounces of cannabis, as well as a fine of $500 or more for those who possess more than 6 ounces, the new legislation lowers the fines to $50 for the possession of less than 6 ounces and $100 for the possession of more than 6 ounces, the news outlet reported.
The legislation would also prohibit law enforcement from stopping and searching a young person solely based on the odor of cannabis, according to NJ.com.