New Jersey lawmakers moved toward decriminalizing marijuana possession Monday with a bill that would allow offenders to pay a fine rather than go to jail, NJ.com reports.
The bill was passed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee and now heads to the full Assembly, according to the news agency. It would impose a $150 fine for anyone arrested with 15 grams of marijuana or less. A second offense would cost $200; a third would earn a $500 fine.
"Some acts harm society and they warrant the intervention of police, prosecutors and perhaps even incarceration," State Rep. Michael Patrick Carroll, who sponsored the legislation, told NJ.com. "Other acts warrant at best, a spanking, and this seems to be one of these situations."
New Jersey would become the 15th state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to the news agency. Connecticut was the most recent state to approve such a policy, according to CBS News. The state legislature passed a bill last June, and Gov. Dannel Malloy signed it into law.