New Jersey lawmakers have proposed fines for underage cannabis use in a new version of an adult-use legalization bill in an attempt to meet the demands of Gov. Phil Murphy, who refused to sign an earlier version of the bill unless such penalties were added, according to an NJ.com report.
The New Jersey Legislature gave final approval Dec. 17 on legislation to regulate the commercial production and sale of adult-use cannabis, sending the bill to Murphy for his signature, but the governor’s office sent a proposed change to lawmakers last week that would implement fines for those younger than 21 who are caught with cannabis.
The new version of the bill, A.5211, imposes a fine of at least $250 for those ages 18 to 20 who possess up to 6 ounces of cannabis, NJ.com reported, and a fine of $500 or more for those who possess more than 6 ounces, which is the legal limit under New Jersey’s adult-use cannabis law.
Those under the age of 18 would not be subject to the fines, according to the news outlet, but could be penalized with juvenile delinquency dispositions, such as community service, if charged with cannabis possession.
The Senate Judiciary Committee and Assembly Appropriations Committee have scheduled hearings on the revised legislation for Jan. 7, and the full Senate and Assembly have scheduled votes for Jan. 11, NJ.com reported.