State lawmakers have finally written the latest bill that would legalize marijuana and lay the foundation for a commercial weed industry in New Jersey — a bill they believe has a real chance to pass.

“Don’t be surprised when people who say they were against it vote for it,” Sweeney said, predicting Republicans who support expanding medical marijuana will support legalization, too.

Jersey City is kicking off a new policy to decriminalize marijuana on Thursday that will downgrade most marijuana charges to non-criminal offenses.

Nearly half of New Jerseyans want the state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana — while a slightly smaller number say Trenton should stay away from legalizing weed — as lawmakers consider a variety of proposals that would make it easier to use the drug in the Garden State.

New Jersey’s newly inaugurated governor is directing officials to study the state’s limited medical marijuana program with a “focus on expanding patient access.”

New Jersey could reap as much as $1 billion a year from legal marijuana — the equivalent of more than a half-cent boost in the sales tax — if the state taxes the industry aggressively and imposes fees on growers, distributors, testing labs, retailers and delivery services, according to projections by a law firm.

An appellate court decision Tuesday recognized medical marijuana's health benefits, and ordered the state to reconsider its schedule 1 classification as a harmful drug.

TRENTON -- Voters in this year's New Jersey governor's race are not just picking Chris Christie's successor. Their choice will dictate whether or not marijuana for recreational use will be legalized in New Jersey.

If you’re one of the nearly 200,000 people in New Jersey who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, anxiety, opiate-use disorder, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Tourette syndrome and a few other ailments, you should be allowed to obtain medicinal marijuana, with the consent of your doctor.

Gov. Chris Christie has long opposed legalizing recreational marijuana, recently calling the idea “beyond stupidity.’’ He won't be in charge soon.

The issue is currently stalled mostly because the current Governor, Chris Christie, has vowed to veto any effort to legalize recreational use of the drug. 

The New Jersey Department of Health, which regulates medical marijuana, has long taken a hands-off approach, telling patients they are free to create edibles with the raw cannabis that is sold.

TRENTON — Republican Gov. Chris Christie's warning to the Democrat-led Legislature not to move forward with legalizing marijuana is going mostly unheeded.

Now that New Jersey has had a medical marijuana program in place for nearly seven years, shouldn't the state change the decades-old classification of marijuana as one of the most dangerous and reviled drugs, one without any medicinal benefit?

TRENTON — Legalized marijuana could be "a game-changer" for New Jersey's economy, Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Thursday, declaring his intent to help change the law as soon as the next governor takes office in 2018.

Their mission - to determine if recreational marijuana use should be legalized in New Jersey.

The day after Gov. Christie signed a bill allowing vets to use marijuana for post-traumatic stress syndrome, he was greeted by cheers - and some boos - as he exited his black SUV and walked to the entrance of the Trenton Statehouse.

With Gov. Christie's surprising reversal on expanding the medical marijuana program comes a new batch of very different bills that would allow recreational cannabis in New Jersey.

The proposed law would also allow New Jersey residents with prior pot possession arrests to apply for record expungement.

New Jersey residents suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be legally treated with marijuana under a law signed Wednesday by Governor Christie, the first expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program since it began six years ago.