New Jersey Lawmakers Ready To Regulate Marijuana
New Jersey Lawmakers are ready to legalize marijuana and regulate it in the same way they have done with online poker. Nine members of the state legislature are currently in Colorado on a fact-finding mission. The results of their trip will become the groundwork for the state's upcoming marijuana legislation.
The group is lead by Senator Nicholas Scutari and includes members from both sides of the political divide. So far, their five-day trip has been nothing to write home about. “I haven't seen anyone partake or brag about it,” commented Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon to the Trentonian.
Even before the trip O'Scanlon said he was already leaning towards legalization, saying his “gut feeling” was a yes. He indicated that his support hinged on having a governor who would sign the bill.
Current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has clearly stated that he will never legalize marijuana. However, Democratic candidate Phil Murphy has stated the opposite. Despite never having held an elected office, the former finance chair for the Democratic National Committee has become a front-runner in the race.
Should Murphy win New Jersey's gubernatorial seat the state would have a smooth path to marijuana regulation. “I support legalization,” were his words on the matter at a town hall just two weeks ago. According to the recent Rutgers poll, 58 percent of New Jersey voters agree with that stance.
The legislation would represent a dramatic change from the state, as New Jersey is currently rated among the highest per capita in marijuana convictions. In the 20 years from 1993 to 2013 the number of people charged with possession in the state doubled.