The grass is looking greener for New Jersey marijuana users.
The idea of legal pot was once a pipe dream for those who so indulged.
Not anymore. Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has pledged to sign legislation
legalizing pot within 100 days of his Jan. 16 inauguration, prompting
speculation on what that hazy world would look like.
Among the particulars that have been largely agreed upon: New
Jerseyans would be permitted to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana for
personal use, and previous convictions for such possession would be
eligible for expungement.
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Two Republicans representing Morris County in Trenton want to 'put
breaks' on legalization of marijuana by governor-elect.
Two Republicans representing Morris County in Trenton are pushing back
against the promise by Governor-elect Phil Murphy to sign a bill
legalizing marijuana in the first 100 days of his administration.
Murphy and the Democratic majorities in the Senate and Assembly have
said they want marijuana legalized in early 2018, which could generate
up to $300 million in annual taxes to the state.
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The Garden State could soon become a bit more green.
Proponents of legalized marijuana in New Jersey are lining up in the
aftermath of Phil Murphy's election as governor, anticipating
no-questions-asked pot sales to adults by late next year with an ally
in the governor's office.
Murphy has named the head of a marijuana trade group as his chief of
staff, and a new association for marijuana retailers has formed. The
governor-elect vowed during his campaign to legalize the drug, and the
growing industry is counting on him to quickly make good on the pledge.
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In this divided nation, we should be able to at least find common
cause in the fight to stop and treat opioid addiction, a scourge that
knows no single identity, and that does not respect geographic
boundaries or common socio-economic factors. This is a fight we must
all take up, arm in arm, because in one way or another it affects all
Indeed, the more we know about this menace to our national health, the
worse it seems. According to a new analysis released by the Trump
White House, the opioid addiction crisis may already be much worse
than previously thought. According to the White House Council of
Economic Advisers, the true cost of the crisis, as of 2015, stands at
$504 billion, a figure more than six times the most recent estimate.
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PATERSON -- About a dozen men and women sat on hard plastic chairs
early Wednesday morning inside a conference room at the Well of Hope
Drop-In Center on Broadway, where a flat screen television broadcast
sports highlights on ESPN.
Some came for the free coffee. A sign said the limit was one cup per
hour. Others were there to use the showers and toilet facilities. A
57-year-old man who would only give his name as "Julius" was waiting
to see a nurse about a blister on his foot.
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Energy drinks could be a gateway to cocaine use, according to a new
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health
found that young adults who said they'd consumed energy drinks yearly
between ages 21 and 24 were at greater risk for subsequently doing
cocaine, using prescription stimulants for non-medical uses and
The 1,099 study participants were recruited as 18-year-old college
Those who didn't consume energy drinks as they got older were less
likely to develop substance-abuse problems.
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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump met with Cabinet members and senior
staff at his golf club in Bedminster to discuss the opioid crisis.
Missing at the meeting was Gov. Chris Christie, the chairman of the
president's commission charged with studying the national rise of
heroin and opioid addiction. Christie is on vacation. While the
governor missed the meeting, the president is missing the message
Christie has been sending for several years: treatment over
incarceration will save lives.
Long before his approval rating tanked at 15 percent, Christie used
his then sizable political capital to focus on treatment and
rehabilitation. He did it when he pushed for drug courts. He did it
when he eloquently spoke of a law student friend who died because of
addiction. And during his presidential bid, Christie resonated most
effectively with voters when talking about drug addiction.
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When it comes to the state's medical marijuana law, progress has come
in increments rather than great strides. New Jersey's Compassionate
Use Medical Marijuana Act, state law since 2010, has been implemented
ever so slowly under Gov. Chris Christie, who has never hidden his
disdain for the law.
Yet those disappointed by the snail's pace of the law, and the
establishment of new medical marijuana centers, have new reason to
As Staff Writer Lindy Washburn reported, North Jersey will soon be
welcoming the state's largest dispensary of medical marijuana yet --
at a 10,000-square-foot facility on Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus.
Once it opens, the dispensary plans to serve up to 4,000 patients a
month with a variety of strains of cannabis. The Christie
administration has issued a permit to grow medical marijuana to
Harmony Foundation and will consider issuing a permit to dispense
marijuana after the crop is tested later this year.
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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker introduced a bill Tuesday to make marijuana
legal at the federal level, marking the first time the New Jersey
Democrat has come out in favor of full legalization and further
stoking tensions with a Trump administration that has sought to roll
back the clock on federal drug policy.
The Marijuana Justice Act, as Booker is calling his bill, would also
allow people serving time for marijuana-related offenses to be
resentenced and automatically expunge federal marijuana use and
possession crimes. States whose marijuana laws disproportionately
affect minorities or poor people would lose federal funding for law
enforcement and prison construction, among other funds.
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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.
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Regarding "Marijuana should be legalized" (Your Views, June 6):
The points the writer raises regarding legalizing cannabis are
ignorant and obviously not factual. They are clearly just his
uneducated opinion. Just how will legalization reduce street drug
markets? Issues of increased tax revenue, economic boost to retail and
job creation, and not contributing to homelessness and violence are
Do you want to be driving your car at 70 miles an hour on the Turnpike
with your kid in the back, next to someone who is high because he just
finished smoking a recreational joint?
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Regarding "Opioid crisis continues to grow" (Editorial, July
Most of the efforts on overdosing of opioids in Governor Christie's
programs have to do with treating the addict. We need more to be done
to prevent the addiction from happening in the first place. And at the
same time, we should not shame people who want to use soft drugs.
When we have a legal drug, alcohol, which causes far more harm than
cannabis does, there is something wrong. We need to acknowledge that
some people have a need to benefit from cannabis, and we gain nothing
by censuring them. The "stigma" hasn't really worked very well. People
have found benefit from this plant. We would be better off accepting
this rather than putting them through arrests and worse.
Rahway, July 25
The national opioid crisis is spreading. Despite increased awareness
of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, the numbers of
fatalities and overdoses continue to rise. That is too true in Bergen
As Staff Writer Steve Janoski reports, despite the efforts of Bergen
County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal, the county appears on track to
surpass last year's totals of 320 overdoses; 259 of which were opioid
related. Ninety-eight people died. That's an 11 percent increase in
overdoses from 2015 and a 12.6 percent increase in fatalities.
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man charged with trying to
drive through the Holland Tunnel with a cache of weapons on his way to
rescue a teenager from a drug den will ask New Jersey's governor for a
pardon after a judge denied his request to enter a pretrial
Attorney James Lisa told a judge Thursday that he will seek a pardon
after the judge denied allowing John Cramsey, of East Greenville, to
enter the program after he earlier rejected a plea.
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Medical patients in severe pain seek comfort in a variety of ways.
Some remedies, they find, work better than others. Some medications,
they find, are less addictive than others. These are factors that must
be weighed as New Jersey considers the pros and cons of whether to
expand its list of "debilitating medical conditions" for those who
wish to participate in the state's medical marijuana program.
More than 12,500 residents have been registered under the program
since it was legalized in 2010, yet many more patients and caregivers
want to participate and say the state's existing rules are too
restrictive. We agree.
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Looking beyond Gov. Chris Christie and seeing a more socially liberal
future, Democratic lawmakers opened their campaign to legalize
marijuana in New Jersey with a lengthy legislative hearing Monday.
Although no vote was planned on the bill that was introduced last
month, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing formally set in motion a
campaign to make New Jersey among the first states in the Northeast to
legalize marijuana. Voters in eight other states and Washington, D.C.,
have approved marijuana legalization, but New Jersey would be the
first to do so through legislation.
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Anyone looking to buttress the argument for decriminalizing marijuana
in New Jersey should take a close look at a new American Civil
Liberties Union report regarding the War on Pot. To sum up: It's a
needless fight being waged badly.
Pot arrests have been rising steadily under Gov. Chris Christie, which
shouldn't be a surprise. Christie continues to regard marijuana as a
gateway drug to harder substances, and dragged his feet on
implementing New Jersey's medicinal marijuana law. Christie's
compassion and enlightenment regarding drug addiction and how best to
combat it seems to stop at opioids.
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The legalization of small amounts of marijuana for people 21 and over
came before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday as the committee
considers abill introduced by Sen. Nicolas Scutari, D-Union.
According to Scutari's office, no vote was taken. (To listen to the
hearing, click here.)
In the bill, Scutari mentions the cost to New Jersey for enforcement.
Marijuana possession arrests made up three out of every five drug
arrests in New Jersey in 2012. The state shells out about $127 million
per year on marijuana possession enforcement efforts.
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West Milford police revived a 31-year-old Hewitt woman suffering from a
heroin overdose on Jan. 21.
[photo] A West Milford police car sits idle behind town hall on Dec. 31,
2016.(Photo: Joe Sarno/NorthJersey.com)
WEST MILFORD -- Local police revived a 31-year-old Hewitt woman suffering
from an apparent heroin overdose on Saturday afternoon.
West Milford police officers administered the opioid-blocking medication
naloxone to the resident after finding her unresponsive at approximately
2:12 p.m. on Jan. 21, according a Jan. 24 press release from the Passaic
County Prosecutor's Office.
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McKesson Corporation agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations from
federal authorities that the company failed to monitor and report
suspicious sales of oxycodone and hydrocodone.
The Washington Post reported on the settlement in December, gleaned from a
publicly disclosed Form 8-K filed by McKesson on April 30, 2015.
Tuesday was the first mention of the settlement by federal law enforcement
The settlement stemmed from an earlier case.
In 2008, McKesson agreed to pay $13.25 million after the government
alleged it failed to create and maintain a system to detect and report
suspicious orders of increasing amounts of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills
to independent and small chain pharmacies.
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