New Jersey could become the ninth state to approve recreational marijuana use.
Former New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine, signed a bill approving the use of medical marijuana in January of 2010, on his last day in office. His successor, Governor Chris Christie, has been never been a fan of marijuana reform. He even went out of his way to delay the implementation of the state’s medical marijuana program.
But America’s least popular governor may have even more to be frustrated about when it comes to legal marijuana. State Sen. Nicholas Scutari plans to introduce a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana.
“The national trend is toward legalization,” Scutari said according to NJ.com. “It’s absolutely necessary to save our neighborhoods from drug dealers. And we can use the tax revenue. And people are smoking it anyway.”
The bill’s introduction will be only the first step toward legalization. It would require passage in both chambers of New Jersey’s legislature. If it were to be passed by the democratically controlled legislature, it would then to go Governor Christie’s desk. Christie’s recent remarks on legalization indicate that he has not softened on the issue.
The governor has suggested that marijuana is “a gateway drug” and legalizing would “poison our kids” to generate “blood money” collected by new tax revenue. These comments almost make Attorney General Jeff Sessions comments seem tame by comparison.
Scutari seems energized by the fact that Christie will leave office in January. “We got to get the ball rolling and educate the legislators,” said Scutari, chairman of the Senate’s judiciary committee. “This is not something I can guarantee passage of right now. But we’ve got to work it so it will be ready for a new administration come January.”
Polls show that marijuana support has reached an all-time high. New Jersey residents may only have to wait a bit longer if the Christie stands in the way of legalization.