NJ Lawmakers Shift Focus To Expanding Medical Marijuana

May 20, 2019 - 1:25 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- The effort to legalize marijuana in New Jersey has been put on hold, but lawmakers are still looking to make changes.

Instead of legalization, the focus in Trenton now is on expanding medical marijuana. A bill passed in committee that'll be voted on later this week would allow patients to buy up to three ounces of cannabis up from two, and with legalized edible forms of pot.

"What we don't want is a situation where we are allowing medical marijuana in some form but people are still relying on the illicit market to be able to get what they need to get, because they just don't have access to what they need to get through the regulated medical marijuana market," said Amol Sinha, Executive Director of the ACLU-NJ.

Another bill would overhaul the expungement process. All of this in place of full legalization, which will now be decided by voters in 2020.

"The problem with a ballot referendum is that we still have to go through the legislative process to get it done," said Sinha.

He called it disappointing that lawmakers couldn't come up with an agreement, considering its widespread support in the state. He says all the ballot measure will do is delay things.