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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for William Hill Race & Sports Bar

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Monday signed three bills to legalize and regulate marijuana in the state, following years of failed attempts by the legislature.

Why it matters: The bills will enact a ballot question that voters overwhelmingly approved last year, allowing people older than 21 to legally carry up to six ounces of marijuana.

  • The bills also allow for the sale of marijuana at state-licensed dispensaries.
  • New Jersey is the 13th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

Murphy's signature comes after a standoff between him and the legislature, during which Murphy declined to sign the bills unless the body established penalties for people under 21 who are caught with marijuana.

  • The legislature ultimately did so with 20 minutes left for Murphy to sign two of the bills.

What he's saying: "Our current marijuana prohibition laws have failed every test of social justice, which is why for years I’ve strongly supported the legalization of adult-use cannabis," Murphy said.

  • "Maintaining a status quo that allows tens of thousands, disproportionately people of color, to be arrested in New Jersey each year for low-level drug offenses is unjust and indefensible."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
28 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

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