Support for legalization has been mounting in New Jersey, and according to lawmakers, legislation is forthcoming. State Senator Nicholas Scutari, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has announced plans to introduce a measure to legalize, tax and regulate recreational cannabis in N.J. within the next month.
Senator Scutari says the measure “will provide us with a tremendous cost savings and time savings for our law enforcement officers”. “It’ll save our citizens from the unnecessary multiple court appearance and criminal record and it’ll provide us with much needed tax revenue.”
The senator has made it adamantly clear that the bill will be for full legalization, and not just decriminalization; “All that does is, to some degree, free people to obtain the marijuana, but it’s still going to be manufactured and dealt illegally. And that’s absolutely the wrong direction that we should go in,” he explains. “We should be trying to get drug dealers and criminals off our street corners and this is an effort for doing that.”
“We’re not delusional about how simple the effort would be,” Scutari says. “But I think from a standpoint of moving this state and this country forward on its archaic drug laws, I think it’s a step in the right direction. It’s high time that we address this issue head on.”
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney recently expressed his support for legalizing recreational cannabis in New Jersey, commending Senator Scutari for having “the courage to talk about marijuana.” “I’m open to listening to Nick Scutari’s suggestions on this,” said Sweeney, who feels this legislation is “positioning New Jersey” for future reform.