New Jersey eyes legalizing marijuana — in small amounts

TRENTON, N.J. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers urged caution on marijuana legalization on Thursday and instead introduced legislation to eliminate penalties for possessing small amounts of the drug.

Democratic state Sens. Ronald Rice and Joseph Cryan and Republican Sen. Robert Singer unveiled the legislation at a statehouse news conference.

The lawmakers’ effort offers a counterpoint to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who campaigned and won election in November while promising to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

But Rice has been skeptical, calling for hearings across the state to examine the issue, with meetings in Jersey City, Elizabeth and Atlantic City set for more at