In November, New Jersey residents will be choosing a new governor, but they will also be choosing whether or not marijuana will be legalized in the state.
That’s because current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) has been the, ahem, largest barrier to legalization in the state. The Democrat who may replace him, Phil Murphy, is ready for legalization. The Republican candidate, Kim Guadagno, is against legalization.
Murphy believes legalization is a criminal justice issue, according to NJ.com, because he sees how the War on Drugs has disproportionately impacted minority communities. “That is the reason we want to legalize marijuana — not because we can make money off of it. That’s the last reason,” Murphy said during the debate last week.
Guadagno, however, believes marijuana should be decriminalized. That would mean New Jersey residents could be fined for things like marijuana possession, but it’d be less likely they’d end up in jail over marijuana. “I am wholly opposed to legalizing marijuana,” she said. “Having said that I, do believe we can decriminalize it.” She also supports medical marijuana, but she’s not interested in New Jersey having a recreational marijuana market.
Regardless of who wins, it appears New Jersey will be less hostile to marijuana users once Christie is out of office. The state’s legislature has pushed for legalization for some time now, but Christie has prevented it. Christie even went as far as to call legalization “beyond stupid.” This is ironic, considering many of the drug-related policies Christie supports are beyond stupid.
“We know no matter who wins in November, there will be an expansion of the medical cannabis market to provide greater access to patients, and decriminalization. We are confident that will occur,” Scott Rudder, president of the Canabusiness Association, told NJ.com.
Things are looking up for New Jersey marijuana advocates no matter what, but it appears they’ll have a lot to be excited about if Phil Murphy wins in a couple months.
Source: The 420 Times
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