Is There A New Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana in New Jersey On The Table?
TRENTON, NJ — According to NJ.com, Monday a state lawmaker will unveil the latest bill to legalize, tax and regulate the sales of recreational marijuana in New Jersey. State Senator Nicholas Scutari (D) is set to formally announce the Democratic-backed measure at a news conference in Trenton at the New Jersey Statehouse. Scutari sponsored NJ’s medical marijuana law and has been an active pro-legalization lobbyist years.
Medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey since Senate Bill 119 (48-14 H; 25-13 S) passed in 2010. If this new bill passes, New Jersey would be the 9th state to legalize recreational marijuana — along with, Alaska, California, Washington (State & D.C), Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts & Maine.
It’s important to note this bill would not immediately legalize recreational marijuana. It would still need to be pass through both houses of the Democratic-controlled state Legislature and be signed by the governor to become an enacted law.
Governor Chis Christie, who has vehemently opposed pro-marijuana legislation, went on to attack the newly proposed bill. Christie ripped into pro-marijuana supporters earlier this month stating Democrats wanting to pass this legislation are willing to “poison our kids” to receive “blood money” in the form of tax money.
Scutari went on to say, “The national trend is toward legalization,” “It’s absolutely necessary to save our neighborhoods from drug dealers. And we can use the tax revenue. And people are smoking it anyway.”
Conversely, Governor Christie, argues that marijuana is a “gateway drug” that can lead recreational users to experiment harder substances.”This is beyond stupidity,” he said during a recent speech in Princeton, NJ.
Scutari noted that despite Christie’s negative outlook on marijuana, his final term is up in January. A new governor will be then be voted into office. Scutari went on to say, “the front-runner is Democrat Phil Murphy, who is in favor of legalization”…”We got to get the ball rolling and educated the legislators committee.”
Scutari said he cannot can guarantee passage this bill of right now. Me mentioned the pro-marijuana legalization is something we’ve got to work towards so it will be ready for a new administration in January.
There is also the question of how the federal government will apporach marijuana issues now that Donald Trump is in office. Currently, recreational marijuana is against law from a federal standpoint, However, President Barack Obama’s decided not to enforce it in states that legalized cannabis.
Trump’s U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions has pro-legalization advocates worried due to his stance on marijuana. We’ll just have to see what happens moving forward with Trump’s administration.
Original Story Source: NJ.com