A New Jersey Assembly committee on Friday advanced a bill outlining non-criminal penalties for minors who possess marijuana, a bill Democratic lawmakers hope will appease Gov. Phil Murphy and get him to sign legalization and decriminalization bills already sitting on his desk.
Meanwhile, in a legislative twist, an opponent of legalization introduced a bill that supporters had long sought allowing residents to grow their own marijuana plants, assuming Murphy does sign the bill creating New Jersey's marijuana market.
Sen. Gerry Cardinale, R-Bergen, introduced the bill, S3407, which would allow for adults to possess up to six marijuana plants.
Cardinale voted against the legalization and decriminalization bills last month. But he said in a statement that home grow would keep people from being priced out of the market because of fees and taxes in the bills.
"The people of New Jersey made it clear in November that they want to lift the prohibition on cannabis,” the Republican senator said in a statement. “Since then, the Legislature has spent three months fumbling around with what should have been a simple task, and complicated the legalization effort with countless fees, licensing and extra layers of bureaucracy."