Today, long suffering New Jersey residents got a breath of fresh air when new Governor Phil Murphy presented his first budget for fiscal 2019 to the members of the NJ Senate and Assembly in Trenton.
After years of Chris Christie and his archaic views of Cannabis, both as Governor and State Attorney General, we now have a Governor who understands how legalizing adult use Cannabis can bring enormous benefits to the Garden State in many areas.
Among the highlights
“I advocate for legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana sales to adults.” Murphy wants New Jersey to “join other progressive states such as California, Massachusetts, Washington, and Colorado by legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana.”
“According to research, New Jersey spends upwards of $140 million per year adjudicating low-level marijuana possession offenses. And, marijuana-related arrest rates are tilted three-to-one against African-Americans, even though rates of marijuana use are similar among races. These resources must have a better use, whether to tackle the trafficking of illegal guns, provide stronger community policing, or to crack the back of our opioid epidemic, which was devastating our urban centers long before it made headlines.”
“Legalization will allow us to reinvest directly in our communities – especially the urban neighborhoods hardest hit by the misguided War on Drugs – in their economic development, in health care and housing, child care and after-school programs, and other critical areas. These investments will pay dividends far greater than the cost of mass incarceration.”
The Governor plans to legalize adult-use marijuana by January 1, 2019 and projects $80 million in related revenue in the first fiscal year. We can only hope.