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Poll: Decriminalize Marijuana?

A bill floating in the state Assembly would do just that

A bill up for consideration by a state Assembly panel next week would decriminalize possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Monday will review bipartisan legislation that would replace criminal penalties with fines for possession of enough weed for just less than 30 joints, according to a report in today's Star Ledger. 

The state director of the Drug Policy Alliance told the newspaper that the bill is the farthest marijuana decriminalization has ever gotten in the state Legislature. 

Currently, the penalty for possession of small amounts of the illegal drug is up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine. The proposed bill would drop the penalty to a $150 fine for a first offense, $200 for a second and $500 for a third. Those caught with paraphernalia would face a $100 fine. 

Anyone under the age of 21 caught for the third time would also be forced to attend a drug education program. 

Fourteen states, including New York and Connecticut, have already decriminalized marijuana possession, which remains a crime on the federal level, the report says. 

dizzybritches May 20, 2012 at 01:31 AM
If alcohol had been invented in the last 40 years it would probably be illegal today. Marijuana has been used forever. It should be decriminalized, at least for adults of drinking age.
Milly Bays May 24, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Medical Marijuana helps many people get through, what for them is, a dreary life burdened with illness or disease. I strongly support medical marijuana for those where prescription drugs won't help. I also support those who are not ill or sick to be able to befriend the person who can legally obtain a decent supply of marijuana. You never know when the friendship will come in handy, especially around 4:20 in the afternoon.
blindbert May 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Is that the voice of experience??
Tobias Cichon June 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Mattie, I completely agree with you. If people are allowed to buy kegs, why not a pound of cannabis? But here's the problem: Federal Government. The feds are going to be the last ones to do any kind of deprioritization, decriminalization, or legalization. The local governments are required to obey federal law. The way to get around it is to say, "Oh yeah, it's still illegal here, we just can't afford to spend our resources on inconsequential amounts, just like we can't afford to spend our resources on jaywalking. So, if you want to police our streets, go ahead, but we're operating within your rules as is." And yes, ballyjduf's comment is the epitome of ignorance on this topic. Here are some facts, lest people decide to educate themselves with "Reefer Madness": - The US has 5% of the world population and 25% of the world's prisoners... this is due to drugs, particularly marijuana. - People can die from drinking alcohol. They cannot die from smoking pot. - Studies are showing that pot-smoking drivers are SAFER drivers than SOBER drivers! - Out of the 854 THOUSAND marijuana arrests made last year, only 11% were for trafficking (which weren't necessarily even proven in court). - Cannabis is illegal because of big business (particularly oil and textile) wanted to shut down competition. - Cannabis is illegal because of racism.
Tobias Cichon June 15, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Mike, you're deluded, buddy. Obama's is one of the most aggressive anti-cannabis administrations ever.

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