Murphy Rejects Bill To Clear Cannabis Convictions In N.J. Instead Offers His Own Plan

The governor urged state lawmakers to model their efforts after Pennsylvania

People hoping to get marijuana offenses cleared quickly from their records in New Jersey will have to keep waiting, as Gov. Phil Murphyconditionally vetoed a bill Friday intended to overhaul the state’s cumbersome and outdated expungement system.

In rejecting the legislation, the Democratic governor also offered recommendations on how to fix it. He called for assembling a task force that would outline how New Jersey would adopt a more technologically advanced automatic record removal process for those who have kept a clean record for 10 years.

“I applaud the sponsors’ commitment to social justice, and their efforts to correct historic wrongs inflicted on our communities by a criminal justice system that has at times unfairly, and harshly punished individuals,” Murphy said in his veto statement.

“I believe, however, that this bill could go further in order to more fully and effectively achieve its intended goals,” he added.

The governor urged state lawmakers to model their efforts after Pennsylvania’s recently enacted “Clean Slate Law” that aims to automatically removes qualifying criminal cases 10 years old and older from public view, except for law enforcement.

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