New Jersey lawmakers opposed to marijuana legalization propose decriminalizing small amounts instead

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 more at