N.J. to hear marijuana decriminalization bill

    New Jersey lawmakers are set to consider a bill that would decriminalize possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana.

    The proposal calls for fines of $100 to $500 for marijuana possession. Possession of drug paraphernalia would result in a $100 fine.
    Violators who are underage or have multiple convictions would be referred for drug counseling.

    The Assembly Judiciary Committee is slated to hold a hearing on Monday.

    The proposal is co-sponsored by 15 Democrats and three Republicans.

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    Gov. Chris Christie has proposed mandatory treatment for nonviolent drug offenders rather than jail, and has appropriated $2.5 million to get the program started.

    Democrats prefer a limited pilot program to see if mandatory treatment really works.

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