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New Jersey Moves One Step Closer To Recreational Marijuana Legalization

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After missing the October deadline to vote on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana, New Jersey, the Garden State, on Monday, moved one step closer, with a House-Senate committee in the State Legislature approving the marijuana legalization bill.

According to the bill, it is legal for adults 21 and older to possess, use, purchase or transport:

-- Marijuana paraphernalia
-- One ounce or less of marijuana
-- 16 ounces or less of marijuana infused product in solid form
-- 72 ounces or less in liquid form
-- Or 7 grams or less of marijuana concentrate.

The bill calls for imposing a 12% excise tax on cannabis products, with municipalities allowed to apply an additional tax of 2%. It also paves way for anyone previously convicted of marijuana possession eligible to have his or her record expunged.

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved the bill by 7-4 votes, with two abstentions, while the Assembly Budget Committee voted 7-3, with one abstention.
The bill now awaits a full vote in the Legislature, which will be meeting on December 17, 2018, before it could be signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.

In the United States, 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana, 32 states and Washington DC have legalized marijuana for medical use, and 13 states have decriminalized, but not legalized, marijuana.

If all goes well as planned, New Jersey will become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana has been legal in the Garden State since 2012.

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