On the first offense, the person would be issued a written warning. On the second offense, the person's parents or guardians would be notified and provided information about community services or groups offering education on substance use.
On a third or subsequent offense, the person would be referred to those community services or groups.
“We can only begin to end the racial disparities of marijuana arrests and build a new cannabis market by putting legalization and decriminalization into law. This clean-up bill will help move this process forward," said Sarah Fajardo, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.
She added: “We must ensure that no one is ensnared in a criminal legal system marked by inequities, and that includes young people. We know that a punitive approach causes lasting harms, without deterring use, and we believe this legislation takes an important step away from that model."
Previous versions of the bill included fines of up to $500 for anyone under 21 caught with marijuana. The version of the bill passed Friday was the first draft to include language removing fines for underage drinking.