The bill to legalize marijuana in New Jersey will be up for discussion in legislative hearings on Monday, a crucial step that could lead to a legal weed vote as soon as the end of the month.
The Assembly Appropriations and Senate Judiciary Committees will hear bills on marijuana legalization, medical marijuana expansion and expungement reform. The Assembly committee convenes at 10 a.m., while the Senate committee is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
The bill package was already cleared by a joint budget committee in November. On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy and top legislative leaders announced an agreement on new amendments to the legal weed bill, including an overhaul of the proposed tax system, regulatory control and adding marijuana distribution as as charge eligible for expungement.
"I don't think any of us think it's a no-brainer, and I don't blame folks for not automatically getting there," Murphy said during a Wednesday radio appearance on WNYC. "But we're not inventing marijuana. It exists. It's in our communities. Our kids are exposed to it. The social injustices of the past exist.