Murphy now supports decriminalization of marijuana in NJ

TRENTON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has now pledged his support to decriminalizing possession of marijuana.

The governor leads the list of those supporting legalizing weed for adult use, but there's a logjam in the state Senate. That issue is likely to go to voters next year in referendum form.

However, there are some 600 arrests a week in the state for marijuana possession, a trend Murphy calls "wholly unacceptable" in a printed statement. So he'll work with legislative leadership and the Black and Latino caucuses to pass what he terms "sensible decriminalization legislation as soon as possible."

A warning here: Decriminalizing is not legalizing. If this passes in the legislature, people will get a citation -- the equivalent of a traffic ticket -- as opposed to being hauled off to jail.

No word on when or even if the decriminalization plan will see action. While there's been quiet talk in Trenton in recent weeks to get it done, Murphy’s support does not mean this is a done deal just yet. Many who oppose legalization feel the same way about decriminalization.