New Jersey

New Jersey Loosens Penalty for Possession of Magic Mushrooms

US Magic Mushrooms Oakland
Richard Vogel/AP

New Jersey has loosened the penalty for anyone in possession of psilocybin, a psychedelic better known as magic mushrooms.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill into law on Thursday, downgrading possession of one ounce or less from a third-degree crime to a disorderly persons offense. New Jersey is the latest state that has moved to lessen the penalty for psilocybin, just a few months after Oregon passed a measure legalizing controlled, therapeutic use of the mushrooms.

The reclassification lessens penalty to $1,000 fine or a 6-month sentence, rather than steeper drug penalties of 3-5 years in prison.

Colorado was the first state to decriminalize mushrooms back in 2019 but a handful of cities around the country have also moved to end arrests.

Meanwhile, New Jersey voters last year chose to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. Lawmakers sent Murphy a bill to set up the marketplace and overhaul criminal justice law concerning marijuana, though he still has not signed it amid a disagreement with lawmakers over how to handle prosecutions for those under 21.

“This hasn’t been an easy fight, nor has it happened as quickly as I would have liked, but we are in a better place, a smarter place, and a more just place than ever before," Murphy said during his State of the State speech last month.

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