New Jersey Democratic governor candidate Phil Murphy claps while talking to supporters during a primary election watch party June 6, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (Julio Cortez, Associated Press)

New Jersey marijuana legalization bill introduced

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey lawmakers kicked off the new session by again introducing legislation to legalize marijuana.

Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari introduced the measure allowing the recreational use of marijuana on Tuesday, the same day the new session of the Democrat-led Legislature convened.

Incoming Democratic governor Phil Murphy campaigned on legalizing marijuana. GOP Gov. Chris Christie is a vocal opponent.

The legislation is identical to a measure introduced in the previous session that legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 and older.

The bill was introduced soon after the U.S. Justice Department last week overturned Obama administration guidelines that federal prosecutors shouldn’t interfere with states allowing people to use pot for medical and recreational uses.

Murphy takes office on Tuesday.