- The New Jersey lawmakers voted on the new bill that regrades charges for simple possession of psilocybin on December 7.
- Assemblyman James J. Kennedy had introduced a separate bill that reclassifies possession of psilocybin as disorderly persons offence on December 1.
- The bill would allow adults aged 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of magic mushrooms, or psilocybin in the state of New Jersey.
The New Jersey state legislature is looking to downgrade the penalty for possessing psilocybin in the form of magic mushrooms, after the assembly voted in favour of the new bill that ‘reclassifies possession of psilocybin as disorderly persons offence’ on December 7.
The new bill, introduced by Assemblyman James J. Kennedy last week, came closer to becoming a law after the Assembly Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 in favour with one abstention.
Possession of any amount of psilocybin, a Schedule I substance, is a third-degree felony under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. ‘This bill would reclassify possession of psilocybin as a disorderly persons offense, punishable by up to up to six months imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both,’ the statement reads. This would allow adults age 21 and over in the State of New Jersey to possess up to an ounce of magic mushrooms, or psilocybin.
During the hearing of the bill on Monday, Kennedy said, “It’s much simpler than what appears on the surface. This is really a downgrading of the charges.”
Psilocybin Separated from the Marijuana Bill
The clause to reclassify psilocybin was added to the marijuana bill in a surprise move last month. The initiative to legalize marijuana in New Jersey has been in progress since 2014. While the last-minute addition to the marijuana bill was approved in the Senate, it was stalled in the Assembly. However, the amended bill created room for the cause of psilocybin to be discussed.
New Jersey State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D), who introduced the clause to the marijuana bill, told Truffle earlier, “We are going to regrade the charge of simple possession and personal use of psilocybin from a felony conviction which carries by the potential of five years of a prison sentence to a maximum sentence of six months of possession.”
On December 1, Assemblyman Kennedy introduced the new bill that separates magic mushrooms from the marijuana bill.
Now with two separate bills under consideration, New Jersey lawmakers will hold a full vote on the marijuana bill on December 17 to determine decriminalization and regulations for the legal cannabis industry. The state Senate will have to vote once more on the marijuana bill without the psilocybin provision, while the psilocybin bill will follow its own timeline.
New Jersey will join other jurisdictions like Colorado, Washington D.C. and cities of California in moving to decriminalize the possession of mushrooms.
Ritika is a Toronto-based reporter. She writes about drug policies and developments in psychedelics.