As we previously wrote about here, it has been a long and contentious road for the New Jersey Legislature and Governor Murphy to implement the will of the people and legalize cannabis in New Jersey. Indeed, just last week Law360 reported (subscription required) that the entire legalization effort was on the brink of collapse. But, in the nick of time, clean up legislation was passed on Monday clarifying the penalties for underage possession of cannabis, which was the major sticking point for Governor Murphy not signing the two previous bills that made their way to his desk. Governor Murphy has signed the new bill and cannabis is now officially legal in New Jersey.
The process was certainly less than ideal as it took nearly four months to get a bill passed after the November election. Senator Paul Sarlo put it bluntly: “we bungled this process,” which is a fair assessment but hardly one worth dwelling on. The goal has been achieved and the will of the people has now been implemented in the Garden State. There may be additional clean-up legislation in the future as Senator Nicholas Scutari said “no one is happy and nothing is ever perfect…I guarantee you, we’ll be back revisiting it again at some point in time,” but those discussions will now take place against the backdrop of legalized cannabis.
Even though the celebration was delayed longer than it should have been, New Jersey can now truly celebrate legalized cannabis.
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