New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and state lawmakers have agreed to vote later this month on whether to legalize marijuana.
The governor and lawmakers from the state senate and state assembly announced the deal Tuesday morning in a news release.
For Murphy, decriminalizing and eventually legalizing marijuana in the Garden State was a stated goal of his gubernatorial campaign in 2017. He addressed the issues last week during his budget address.
"It is also our chance to create an entirely new state-based industry, with the potential to create thousands of good paying jobs, expand opportunities for minority business owners, and jumpstart billions of dollars in new economic activity," he said.
The proposed legislation in the state assembly would impose a $42 per ounce tax on marijuana for adult use. Municipalities are home to manufacturers, cultivators, retailers and wholesales will receive a percentage tax on the product.
"The prohibition on marijuana has long been a failed policy," said Senator Nicholas Scutari. "This plan will bring an end to the adverse effects our outdated drug laws have had on the residents of our state."
Murphy has demanded the legalization bill also expunge criminal records of New Jersey residents who have been arrested for prior minor marijuana offenses.
Murphy is confident the the bill will have enough support to pass, though currently it is believed to be a few votes short of approval.
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