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NJ Lawmakers Advance Medical Cannabis, Expungement Bills

Democrat-led Assembly and Senate committees advanced the measures

New Jersey lawmakers have advanced legislation expanding the state’s medical marijuana program and making it easier for certain convicts to clear their records.

Democrat-led Assembly and Senate committees advanced the measures Monday. They go next to votes in each chamber that could come as early as this week.

The votes come days after Senate President Steve Sweeney said a bill legalizing recreational cannabis didn’t have enough support to pass and he instead would pursue a 2020 referendum. Sweeney also said that in the interim, lawmakers would pursue an expanded medical cannabis program as well as legislation to ease the expungement of certain criminal records.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy supports recreational cannabis legalization but had a “mixed reaction” to Sweeney’s proposal. Murphy’s office declined to comment Monday on the bills.

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