This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a measure legalizing and regulating marijuana use and possession for adults 21 years and older, ABC News reports. The governor also signed legislation reforming penalties for low-level marijuana offenses.
One of the new laws prevents low-level distribution and possession offenses from being used in pretrial release, probation and parole decisions, and provides certain protections against discrimination in employment, housing and places of public accommodation.
“Our current marijuana prohibition laws have failed every test of social justice, which is why for years I’ve strongly supported the legalization of adult-use cannabis. Maintaining a status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately people of color, to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible,” Governor Murphy said in a statement.
ABC News reports that 14 states and the District of Columbia allow for the sale of recreational and medicinal marijuana. The Virginia state legislature is expected to vote on a marijuana legalization bill. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has expressed support for the measure.