It seems like the marijuana legalization wave just hit New Jersey. The incoming Democratic governor has plans to legalize marijuana in the state. That being said, there is the need to implement the legalization with laws that would make the control of the substance easier. This should not be done in a hurry as a way of fulfilling a political promise during campaigns.
It seems like the marijuana legislation is at the top of the new governor’s mind and to do list. He is expected to succeed the outgoing GOP governor Chris Christie as from Jan 16. Murphy is expecting to hit the ground running once the stage is set. It is highly expected that he will keep his promise to the New Jersey residents who might have been waiting on marijuana legalization for a long time now.
It is not just the republicans, but fellow democrats have come out to tell the governor about their concerns. Most people want marijuana legalized, but they believe there is the need to do it properly. First, there has to be consultations with the experts, legislators, and the public in general to understand what they expect from the legalization process. Most are opposed to simply ramming the legislation into place quickly. It could be also better to learn from the laws already implemented in various states that have legalized marijuana before.
Justin Singer, an attorney came out to show support for legalizing marijuana in New Jersey. The works in a firm that specializes in marijuana law. He has downplayed the fears and cautions as laid out by legislators. According to him, it should be easy to get it right the first time with proper research. He agrees that we already have existing case studies from the many existing states with marijuana legalized. New Jersey can easily learn from the successes and failures of such states and come up with new marijuana laws.
The legislation proposal is expected to come from the Democrat state senator Nicholas Scutari. The bill will show aspects of legalizing marijuana. It is expected that those who are 21 and older can now possess 1 ounce of marijuana with up to 16 ounces of marijuana-infused products. The bill will also allow up to 72 ounces of marijuana in liquid form and 7 grams as a concentrate. Well, as it might seem generous, home cultivation will be prohibited. This I guess is in the aim to control the market and keep tabs on the growers too.
The introduction of this legislation would also mean the establishment of a Division of Marijuana Enforcement. The work of the division would be to regulate the industry and make sure that the laws are always followed. The legislation is also supposed to establish more things such as the sales tax on the marijuana grown in the state. It is expected that the tax will start from 7 percent to 25 percent over a span of five years. The aim is to encourage the companies and residents in early participation in the pot business after it has been legalized.
State Sen. Ronald Rice despite being a democrat has also voiced his concerns on the legalization of marijuana. The is urging the governor to proceed with caution before the legalization is completed. He is seeking that more hearings are heard across the state to establish how pot would be accessed. His major concerned is how the state will ensure the children do not access edible marijuana or those who drive after smoking marijuana.
Most people are waiting on Murphy to give them about his sketch on marijuana legalization in the state. What he has said is mostly on the amount of revenue the state will be making with marijuana. He said that the state can make up to $300 million from the sale of marijuana. He has further commented that the revenue from marijuana sales would help with financing the state’s public pension system and also aiding the schools.
The exiting governor was expected to oppose Murphy’s way of financing the budget woes in the state. Christie does not agree with the use of marijuana money to help with such tax issues. He further went on to claim that it is blood money and residents should reject the use of such money. That is going to be hard to achieve as a recent poll shows 59% of those interviewed support the marijuana legalization. With more people hopping to access marijuana, you can expect to see more revenue for the state.
New Jersey will be the next state to legalize marijuana and see the benefits of having it legalized. That being said, there is the need to reassure the residents that it will not be abused. This responsibility rests with the Division of Marijuana Enforcement. Ithas to keep pot from being misused.