On Monday, New Jersey Senator Nick Scutari will be holding a meeting regarding the marijuana legislation that he proposed in May.
This may seem like a foolhardy endeavor, considering anti-pot stalwart Chris Christie is the current governor of the state. But his term ends in seven months’ time, and already legislators and citizens alike are preparing for the departure of the least popular governor in the country. This hearing is one measure that is taking place as marijuana advocates begin moving toward a more 420-friendly future for The Garden State. Speakers at the meeting will include marijuana industry professionals, as well as those in the medical field and law enforcement agencies.
“We will have a new governor next year and we should be prepared to move forward with a program that ends the prohibition on marijuana and that treats our residents fairly and humanely,” said Scutari in a statement about the upcoming meeting.
The bill that he proposed will legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of infused solid products, and 72 ounces of liquid products such as oils for adults over the age of twenty-one.
And should this legislation find its way into the law books, the face of the legal justice system in the state is going to change, big-time. Currently over $127 million per year is spent on enforcing marijuana prohibition in New Jersey, and the number of arrests has been climbing ever-higher in the past decade. Scutari is quick to emphasize the savings that this legislation will generate for law enforcement agencies in the state, as well as highlight the tax revenue that will be generated from a legal marijuana market.
One key difference between Scutari’s bill and others like it, is that this measure does not have any language regarding home-grown marijuana plants. It has also been criticized for not doing enough to help those who have already been harmed by the state’s strict anti-marijuana policies thus far.
The bill will also repeal the taxes placed on marijuana products that are sold as a part of the state’s medical marijuana program.
Photo by Ken Lund