Pubdate: Mon, 31 Jul 2017
Source: Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)
Copyright: 2017 North Jersey Media Group Inc.
Author: Morgan Smith and Madeline Ference


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.