N.J. marijuana decriminalization hearing draws large crowd

It was standing room only at a New Jersey Assembly Committee hearing on a measure to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in the state.There was just one person who testified against the bill designed to provide fines instead of jail time for having less than 15 grams of pot.

Bruce Hummer with the New Jersey Prevention Network says it would lead to increased marijuana use by kids.”This current bill, if passed, will demonstrate a clear acceptance of marijuana use by the community,” he said. “Research and history have shown this increasing lenient view of marijuana will be devastating to our youth.”Candice Singer with the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence supported the measure but called for it to be amended.”On the third offense, we would ask than an evaluation take place of the person to determine if they have a substance use disorder and if they need further treatment,” said Singer.The judiciary committee voted unanimously to send the bill to the full Assembly. The Christie Administration has no comment on whether the governor would sign it if it reaches his desk.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.