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New Jersey Governor Signs Laws To Legalize Marijuana Use, Decriminalize Possession

Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law legislation setting up a recreational marketplace

Legislation to set up a recreational marijuana marketplace, decriminalize cannabis and loosen penalties for underage possession of the drug and alcohol was signed into law Monday by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, more than three months after voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question to legalize adult use of the drug.

The Democrat-led Assembly and Senate passed the last-minute measure Monday to ease penalties on underage possession of both alcohol and marijuana as a way to secure Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature on legislation they had sent him in December.

Murphy faced a deadline to act on the December measures. He had earlier said he backed the legislation, but delayed signing them for more than two months amid concerns that young people of color could still face arrests, running afoul of his goal of undoing the effects of the war on drugs in Black communities.

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