Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that New Jersey should cut down on arresting people for marijuana possession by decriminalizing the drug now that the fate of legalizing pot won’t be decided until a voter referendum next November.
Murphy, a Democrat, has pushed for the Garden State to legalize weed outright and has long said merely decriminalizing it would boost the black market. But he now says decriminalization is needed as a stopgag measure in the months leading up to the referendum.
Decriminalization would not make marijuana legal. And it’s unclear exactly what decriminalization would look like in New Jersey, if approved by state lawmakers.
But in general, people found in possession of pot would likely receive some sort of fine instead of being arrested. It would not make it legal to sell weed.