New Jersey holds hearings on marijuana legalization

Lawmakers held hearings at the New Jersey Statehouse over the legalization of recreational marijuana on Monday. 

The bill known as "New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act" would legalize the possession and personal use of one ounce or less of marijuana for people at least 21 years old.

Some of the other features of the bill include imposing a 12-percent tax on the commercial marijuana industry. For towns with cannabis businesses, a two percent excise tax would be added.

It would also establish a five-person cannabis commission.

Dozens of municipalities in the Garden States including East Rutherford, Mahwah, Clifton, Weehawken and Union City, have announced that they will not allow the sale or cultivation of marijuana within their confines regardless of the potential legislation.

The legislation also calls for expediting expungements for people with marijuana-related criminal backgrounds.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy supports the legalization.