Despite the fact that New Jersey governor Chris Christie remains adamantly opposed to the concept of legal marijuana, state lawmakers are preparing to reveal a master plan for how they will establish a taxed and regulated pot market the second Christie’s veto power is no longer a problem.
On Monday, state Senator Nicholas Scutari, one of the leading legislative forces dedicated to marijuana reform in the Garden State, will formally announce the introduction of a bill to legalize a recreational cannabis industry. Although the details of the proposal have not yet been made public, previous attempts indicate that it will likely call for adults 21 and over to be given the freedom to purchase marijuana in a manner similar to beer.
“The national trend is toward legalization,” Scutari told NJ Advance Media. “It’s absolutely necessary to save our neighborhoods from drug dealers. And we can use the tax revenue. And people are smoking it anyway.”
The mission to end marijuana prohibition in New Jersey became a hot topic of discussion last week, with several reports indicating that lawmakers were simply holding out on plans to legalize weed until after Governor Christie, a man who believes marijuana is a “gateway” to the destruction of civil society, is forced down from his executive perch.
But lawmakers feel it is necessary to put the marijuana debate in the forefront in order to ensure easier passage in the State Legislature next year. If not, it is distinctly possible the issue could get jammed up in a flurry of negotiations and stall tactics.
“We got to get the ball rolling and educate the legislators,” Scutari said. “This is not something I can guarantee passage of right now. But we’ve got to work it so it will be ready for a new administration come January.”
However, there is still some concern over whether President Donald Trump’s administration will revert back to the era of Nixon and launch a blitzkrieg-style attack on states that have legalized the leaf. Although the Justice Department has not yet given any sort of confirmation on its plans for dealing with legal weed, it seems that every month a new comment or memo inches the nation further back to a time when total prohibition was the law of the land.
Yet, New Jersey has been prepping for a legal marijuana market for the past several years, so unless U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his cronies over at the DEA say otherwise, lawmakers are going to proceed with creating a system that allows the state to capitalize on the cultivation and sale of legal marijuana.
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