New Jersey Lawmakers Approve Recreational Marijuana Bills

New Jersey state lawmakers passed landmark legislation to legalize recreational marijuana on Thursday, following through on the will of voters who overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to legalize adult-use cannabis in last month’s election. Approval of the bills comes after Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders announced earlier this month that they had come to an agreement on the provisions of the measures.

“The New Jersey Legislature has delivered the most progressive legislation in the nation regarding marijuana legalization, incorporating critical components of social justice and social equity that communities of color and others have been demanding for years,” Democratic Assemblyman Jamel Holley, a sponsor of the legislation, said in a statement. “This is a defining moment in the history of our state, as we finally put an end to a failed ‘War on Drugs’ that has shattered the lives of many, forced into lengthy, senseless incarceration.”

Legalization Approved By New Jersey Voters

State lawmakers had worked for several years to draft bills to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults and to establish a regulated cannabis economy but were unable to reach agreement on sticking points including social equity measures. That prompted legislators to put the issue

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