Marijuana Legalization Wins in New Jersey

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New Jersey Will Have Legal Weed

With legalization opponent Chris Christie out, the incoming governor Phil Murphy– who ran on a platform of marijuana legalization– promises to have legal weed enacted in his first 100 days in office.

In 2016, the New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform (NJUMR) released a report that says that Marijuana can potentially raise $300 million in new tax revenues. Murphy has previously stated that he is counting on that income to fund education and public worker pensions. So, we can expect marijuana to be legalized very soon in New Jersey. A nice win for the efforts of the NJUMR and the good folks at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

Here is a tweet he did in 2016.

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With this win, New Jersey will become the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislator. Other states, like California for example, have changed laws through the ballot process. It’s nice to know that there are other options, particularly for states like Arizona, where the state legislator is making the process more difficult for voters. Consider donating to the legal fund to fight this type of behavior from lawmakers. Otherwise, vote-in individuals that are for taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol.

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Marijuana Legalization efforts across the country

Illinois: Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey wants to form an advisory committee to study whether the state should legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older. He states that such an endeavor could raise up to $700 million in tax revenue. He also mentioned that it would free up law enforcement to focus on other crimes, such as violent crime.

Indiana: Local prosecuting attorneys from the Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys sent a letter to the Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse stating their opposition to the legalization of marijuana in any form, including medical marijuana. Their reasons, of course, are old and easily refuted with years of research.

Maine: Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, vetoed a bill that would have allowed for taxing and regulating marijuana in the Old Dirigo State. LePage stated that he voted the bill because of the uncertainty of how the Trump administration will act on states with legal weed. A couple of months ago, Attorney General, Jeff Session, sent out letters to governors of states that have legalized marijuana questioning the success of those programs. The governors, of course, refuted all his arguments with real data showing how legalizing marijuana helps in raising revenue and decreasing crime.

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Marijuana Legalization and the Feds

The feds should just leave this issue alone. It is not hurting anyone. Even the American Legion, one of the oldest veteran organizations in the country, supports reclassifying marijuana and removing it from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Countless of research has been done on the benefits of marijuana, so why fight an industry that is helping people in so many ways?

Legal weed is helping sick patients find relief. It is creating an industry, which creates new jobs and new wealth. It also raises tax revenues to fund education and other social programs. Most importantly, it is defunding cartels and gangs, which will decrease crime. No matter how you look at it, it’s a win-win. So, why are the feds fighting this so hard? The people overwhelmingly support the legalization of marijuana, so who are they representing?

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Founder of WeedUpdate, Cannabis legalization advocate.

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