Pubdate: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 Source: Herald News (West Paterson, NJ) Copyright: 2017 North Jersey Media Group Inc. Contact: http://www.northjersey.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2911 Author: Morgan Smith and Madeline Ference 4 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN NJ The call to legalize marijuana in New Jersey has been loud and clear, lately. Legalization rallies have occurred in groups in Trenton, and front-runners from both parties of the gubernational primary elections have been vocal in their support of legalization. What is there to know about the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey? The state's medical marijuana program added 5,000 participants last year, and total enrollment now exceeds 10,000, according to the state's Health Department. There are five state-licensed dispensaries, also known as alternative treatment centers, and Secaucus just got approval to open its own dispensary. The New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform recently estimated that, if legalized, marijuana could generate up to $300 million in sales tax revenue. Aside from generating a hefty profit for New Jersey, the $127 million that New Jersey uses to enforce possession laws would deminish, creating an even bigger profit for the state. Oregon, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, Alaska, Maine, Washington D.C. and Washington State have all legalized marijuana, with restrictions. For example, in Masschusetts, it is still illegal to buy and sell pot. In California, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Washington State, Oregon, and Washington D.C, it's still illegal to smoke in public. If marijuana was legalized in New Jersey, similar restrictions would likely be imposed. Although each stance differs, each candidate in the New Jersey Gubernatorial race would change the way New Jersey handles marijuana. Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno does not believe legalizing marijuana is the right way to go, but she does believe that decriminalizing it would be beneficial to New Jersey. Democrat Phil Murphy believes in legalizing recreational marijuana, which will ultimately decriminalize it.