Modified N.J. bill to legalize small amount of pot expected to draw more support

The New Jersey Assembly has amended a bill to decriminalize possession of up to half ounce of marijuana.

One amendment would require $50 of each fine for marijuana possession to go to a drug-education program. Another change would allow judges to order an addiction assessment for third-time offenders.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, the primary sponsor of the bill, said Friday he believes the amendments will increase support for the measure.

“Oh definitely there are enough votes, but I think that these amendments address a lot of the concerns that there be drug-education funding and also that you allow judges to order an assessment for a repeat offender,” said Gusciora, D-Mercer.

Gusciora says he’ll reach out to Gov. Chris Christie to persuade him to sign the bill if the full Legislature passes it.

So far, the governor has not taken a position on it.

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